There is a wealth of bird life on Maui, including pocket concentrations of Hawaiian endemic species that are found only in Hawaiʻi. Water and sea birds, finches and honeycreepers are prevalent on Maui, and the most commonly seen introduced species are mynahs and doves. There are several areas that offer excellent birding in Maui for both forest birds and water birds, most of them being easily accessible and open to the public.
Best Spots For Birding in Maui
Haleakalā National Park – Hosmer Grove
Located at 7,000 feet in elevation just inside Haleakalā National Park, Hosmer Grove is a leftover from a reforestation experiment during Hawai‘i’s territorial days. If you consider the amount of endemic bird life thriving there, the experiment could be considered a success. At Hosmer Grove you can experience a large concentration of endemic birds of Maui, such as ‘apapane, iʻiwi, ‘amakihi, Maui Honeycreeper, ‘ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel), ‘akohekohe, and occasionally, the rare kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill).
The Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve is a lush 8,951-acre preserve on the eastern slopes of Haleakalā. Home to 63 species of rare plants and 13 species of endemic birds of Maui – seven of them endangered, the Nature Conservancy leads hikes in the Waikamoi Preserve on the second Saturday of each month. You can contact the Nature Conservancy by email at hike_[email protected] for more information or to sign up for a birding hike.
Kanahā Pond Wildlife Sanctuary
Kanahā Pond is located in the heart of Kahului. Formerly a fishpond for Hawaiian royalty, this wetland is home to several species of endemic water birds, including the ae‘o (Hawaiian black-necked stilt), the kōloa duck, and the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot). In all, Kanahā Pond hosts over 90 species of birds, including migratory species such as plovers, teals, dowitchers, wigeons, sandpipers and many more.
Keālia State Wildlife Refuge
Running almost the whole expanse of the road between Kīhei and Ma‘alaea is Keālia State Wildlife Refuge, locally called Keālia Pond. Home to three endanged Hawaiian waterbirds, the the ae‘o (Hawaiian black-necked stilt), the kōloa duck, and the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), the Keālia shore is also a favorite nesting ground for the endangered Hawaiian green sea turtle.
Bird Watching Tour Companies on Maui
Though there are no companies that offer tours for watching Hawaiian birds on Maui, there are guided tours in the Waikamoi Preserve hosted by the Nature Conservancy on the second Saturday of each month, and the National Park Service also offers Waikamoi Preserve hikes twice a month.
Maui is a wonderful place to spend the day bird watching, and at ILoveHawaii we want to see you get the most out of your Maui birding experience. Contact us today so we can help you plan a fulfilling day of watching Hawaiian birds on Maui.