BIRDING ON OAHU

 

Download the complete Oahu Birding Guide with driving diretions here.

 

In general, the island has few native forest birds in accessible places. `Apapane and `Amakihi can be seen in low numbers on most of the ridge trails in the mountains behind Honolulu (Tantalus trails, Lyon Arboretum, and `Aiea Loop Trail are all places to look). Other places to look are Maunawili Trail and Kahana State Park, both on the Windward side. Even if one does not see an endemic bird, the song of the Shama Thrush and beautiful Red-billed Leiothrix are worth the hikes.

 

The best location to see seabirds is probably in the southeast part of the island, around Makapu`u Point (easily accessible by hiking a paved trail) and Manana Island off of Makapu`u Point.  Frigatebirds, Boobies, Noddies, Terns, Tropicbirds, and Shearwaters can be seen. This is also one of O`ahu's best spots to whale-watch from November through April. 

 

White Terns and interesting species of introduced birds can all be seen in urban Honolulu. For endemic waterbirds, Enchanted Lake in Kailua, at the end of Kiuke`e Place off of Ke`olu Drive, is one place to look. James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge in Kahuku is open from September through mid-February (the time when the stilts aren't nesting). To reserve your place on a tour, please call 808-637-6330. Among the migratory visitors to the refuge are Northern Pintails, Lesser Scaup, Wandering Tattlers, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings and Bristle-thighed Curlews. Hawaii Audubon Society usually offers a field trip to the Refuge in the fall.

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