South Pacific


The South Pacific Islands make up some of the most beautiful beaches and natural wonders of the world and are loaded with heritage and culture, but can also make for the best wildlife photography and bird photography. Owen traveled to the South Pacific islands on an Easter Island to Tahiti National Geographic Expedition. Each expedition has a diverse team from naturalist to regional specialists. This 20-day trip included Chris Rainier, a documentary photographer that specializes in highlighting endangered cultures and languages around the world. This expedition starts on Easter Island, exploring its grasslands, volcanic calderas, and its legendary moai statues. The expedition continues sailing from Easter Island to the Pitcairn Islands, Mangareva, to exploring the archipelago in Pukarua, Fakarava, and ending the trip in Tahiti. Many stops are made throughout, and within these islands, all while catering to what you want to explore and do from hiking, snorkeling, visiting sites, walking tours to birding. These islands make up the Southeastern most extension of the geological Tuamotu archipelago. On this expedition, you can explore the geology of Henderson Island and discover the island’s 4 endemic bird species by visiting Mangareva, the largest of the Gambier Islands. You can also see over 43 bird species throughout the Pitcairn islands. The Pitcairn islands were formed by a center of upwelling magma called the Pitcairn hotspot. While birding on the South Pacific Islands, Owen photographed an endangered bird, the Hawaiian Duck, Koloa. It is the only endemic duck remaining on the main Hawaiian Islands. It is threatened with genetic extinction due to interbreeding with feral mallards. Owen visited the South Pacific Islands in March and April of 2019.

© Rona Talcott

Birds found here