Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bird Watching in Hawai‘i

Birding enthusiasts will find plenty of unique destinations on the Big Island for observing rare native forest birds as well as other types of feathered friends including the Hawai‘i State bird, the Nene.

I‘iwi Bird
For serious birders, Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is home to three species of endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers (akiapola‘au, akepa and Hawai‘i creeper). Located on the slopes of Mauna Kea off the Saddle Road, the area is not generally open to the public, so in order to visit, you must book a permitted tour. Hawai‘i Forest and Trail, based in Kailua-Kona, offers guided tours of the Pua Akala meadow at the refuge. The higher the elevation, the better chance you have of seeing a rare i‘iwi bird feasting on lehua blossoms with its curved beak.

Also located off the Saddle Road, the Pu‘u O‘o Trail features a well-marked trails where small koa "islands" (kipuka) offer forested homesteads for birds. You might even see a Hawaiian hawk (‘io) flying overhead.

At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, there are many good areas for bird lovers to explore. Birds that frequent  the trails include oma‘o, elepaio, apapane and amakihi. Resembling geese, the adorable Nene birds roam the cindery areas of the Volcano, feeding on opelo berries that grow in the barren lava fields.

Here at Holualoa Inn, guests wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed Kona coffee and the sounds of birds chirping in our banyan tree. In fact, we've often spotted Hawaiian owls (Pue‘o) or hawks hovering above the Inn. Our Holualoa Inn ohana are happy to give you advice on how to get to some of the more remote destinations on the Big Island, or where to book the best tours. 

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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