View Full Version : Best bird photography locations in Hawaii?

Roger Clark
06-27-2008, 10:08 PM
OK all Hawaii bird photographers:

Where are the best locations for bird photography in Hawaii? I used to live in Hawaii (Honolulu; I was an associate professor at the University of Hawaii) before I was into bird photography. I get back every year or so and have wondered about the best places to go.


Christopher Hill
07-01-2008, 06:09 PM

It is really going to depend on what you want to shoot. Most things here are fairly site-specific. For Laysan Albatross, head for Ka'ena Point on O'ahu. For Fairy (White) Terns, try Kapi'olani Park in spring. For native passerines, I like Waikamoi Preserve on Maui, Hakalau on the Big Island, or the Alakai on Kauai. If you have access to a fairly stable ocean-going boat , the small off-shore islands (in many cases these islands are off limits to foot traffic) are great for sea birds like Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Sooty Terns, Brown and Black Noddies, Red-footed, Masked, and Brown Boobies, and some of the less common shearwaters and petrels.

In many cases, the old mill ponds attract winter visitors and storm-blown vagrants. For example, on O'ahu, the James Campbell NWR near Kahuku has a resident population of the endangered Hawaiian Stilts, Hawaiian Coots, and Hawaiian Ducks, and a winter flock of Bristle-thighed Curlews. Every winter brings a potluck of storm blown birds there as well. I'm always amazed at how far some birds will fly rather than ask for directions (we had a GBH appear here this last winter - the first on record I believe).

Douglas Pratt has a good book on where to find birds in Hawaii. It's written for birders, but photographers will get a lot out of it too.

If you have something specific in mind, just ask and I'll try to get you an answer!


Roger Clark
07-01-2008, 10:50 PM
Thank for the great suggestions. While I am familiar with some of your locations, others are new to me. I believe I have the book by Pratt (I remember buying it last November on Maui).

Thanks again.

Dona schull
02-06-2009, 11:20 PM
I go to the University of Hawaii and I see Myna's and sometimes Zebra dove's. I was never a bird watcher but when I started observing these bird's I got real interested. I found out their names (Myna & Zebra there are some others too) I loved that the Myna's seem to travel in pairs and seem to talk to each other (I know they can to taught to talk) the Zebra I thought was a pigeon lol Anyway I might take up Bird Watching then maybe Snapping a few pic's. I know I would like a picture blown up of the Myna!
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jim rayner
09-17-2009, 12:11 PM
The great thing about Hawaii is the amount of unique species that you are unable to find anywhere else in the world,
Or at least some exotics you definitely wont see in the rest of the states, IF YOU have the time to find them.
Some like curved-bill honeycreepers, black-winged red birds, and the rare o'o, Hawaiians use to make royal capes out of.
On Kauai large colonies of seabirds nest at Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge and along the Na Pali Coast.
There is even a book The Birds of Kauai by Jim Denny. The rainforest of Molokai's Kamakou Reserve is where you can find the Molokai thrush and Molokai creeper, which live only on this 30-mile-long island.

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