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Can someone give me a run-down of Hawaii?

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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 18:19   #1
Silverwolf
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Can someone give me a run-down of Hawaii?

Thinking of visiting at some point but information is so scattered all over the place. Not that I'm against some long research, but if someone is able to brief me about some points that would be appreciated.

EDIT: I'm planning to coordinate around the birding festival, which means I'll be there from 13th-17th. After that I want to hit O'ahu and Kaua'i, but I am in need of tour guide suggestions.

Last edited by Silverwolf : Thursday 6th September 2018 at 16:58.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 18:26   #2
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There's quite a few articles about Hawaii in The Opus, nearly all the content has been written by a member resident there.

Also, Ann (Doc Duck) will be there in a couple of weeks, so you could maybe pick her brains when she gets back.

Hope this helps.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 18:36   #3
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Thank you Delia!

There's actually a lot more to these islands than I expected. If anyone recommends any tours too, that would be of interest.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 18:48   #4
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Maybe check the Hawaii Audubon page:
http://www.hawaiiaudubon.org/birding-in-hawaii
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 19:47   #5
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Yeah I may just see if I can get tours for those days. That would be much more productive than me trying to learn all the locations of everything. The buses are nice but their timing is not always good.

Am I right in thinking that Big Island is mostly 2-3 top spots, in terms of the general endemics? And then Kauai is 1, or 2 days, depending on how far off the beaten path you want to go?

edit: It actually looks like most tours are 2 person minimum, so that's no good.

Last edited by Silverwolf : Wednesday 5th September 2018 at 21:10.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 21:19   #6
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The endemics are few and far between. We stayed in Honolulu and did a tour round the island. Didn't really go for the birding, just picked up what I could. More introduced species (and then subsequent escapes) than real exciting birds. There are awful problems with introduced predators - pigs, cats, Mongooses, you name it - it's there.
I did a day trip to Kau'i where there are no Mongooses. But the additional problem of a bird disease which is spreading like wildfire - a mosquito-borne parasite, which is spreading up to higher altitudes where there are better concentrations of endemics. You need a car.

Did you follow Olaf's big year birding America the year before last - he did Hawaii late in the year and did quite well, but knew who to contact and seemed to have deep pockets.

I'll look up my lists if you like. We were there in early March 2014. And only for 4 days.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 22:18   #7
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Thanks Jon! I've been trying to glean what I can from trip reports so this would help too!

I'm thinking of taking advantage of the birding festival on west Big Island later this month. I at least grabbed a spot on a pelagic off Kona with promise of petrels, so that should be good (they had multiples of 4 species last year!).

There seems to be a fair amount of bus traffic (on Big Island anyway, if you like the exterior of the island) so I'm not exactly grounded, but if I can find local help that would certainly be beneficial. I'm not adverse to spending money on tours but I don't have many thousands spare.

I suspect I'll spend 4 days on Big Island, and then try and hit at least O'ahu or something else.

Last edited by Silverwolf : Wednesday 5th September 2018 at 22:30.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 22:32   #8
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What's the situation with Hawaiian crow? I know it is introduced, but presumably not countable by ABA standards.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 22:37   #9
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I was just in Hawaii a couple months ago. The big island is best for native forest birds, saw just about everything but the hawk; I did do a trip to Hakalau Forest, which is the best bet for birds, but if you don't have the cash, the Palila Discovery Trail and the Main kipuka on the Puu Oo trail.
I made a video showing some of my pictures
Kauai is really good for seabirds/waterbirds go to Kilauea Point and Hanalei. Forest birding is good on the Pihea Trail at the end of the road in Kokee, if your luck you should get everything but the 3 really rare birds, but I have seen some Akekee activity on ebird that time of year. You really have to go on the Mohihi Walaiae Trail for Puiohi and Akikiki, but you need a guide, the road is nearly impossible to drive and the trail in disorienting/overgrown


From what I gather later or earlier in the year are better than the middle

Without a car you are basically stuck, all the natives are at least an hour from the airports. I know some of the Companies that run tours of the Palila Trail and Hakalau will pick you up from kona/hilo. The tours actually get quite a few people, I ran into a van from Hawaii forest and trail at the Palila Trail and it had like 10 people. Hakalau has a limitation on visitors and is so out of the way I think most tours try to group people up.
Best of luck
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Old Thursday 6th September 2018, 00:13   #10
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Thanks all for the input so far.

I discovered through research that the Hawaiian Bird Festival is next week, so I was able to get a few trips through that. That'll be my first 4 days on Big Island. I may reserve a further day based on what else I can find out.

For the other islands, I have inquired a few tour guides to see what their availability is like.
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Old Thursday 6th September 2018, 04:15   #11
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If you're on the Big Island, you can try contacting Jack Jeffrey. He does the tour into the Hakalau Forest.

http://jackjeffreyphoto.com

For Maui, there's Hosmer Grove in Haleakala National Park.

http://nuttybirder.com/Wheretobird/H...l#.W5CppC2ZNBw

The Nature Conservancy runs tours into the adjacent Waikamoi Preserve every second Saturday of the month.

https://www.nature.org/ourinitiative...t/waikamoi.xml

http://nuttybirder.com/Wheretobird/H...l#.W5CpxS2ZNBw

Good luck!
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Old Thursday 6th September 2018, 16:56   #12
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Thanks all! I suspect I'll focus my visit on Big Island, O'ahu, and Kaua'i. Does anyone have any tour knowledge on the latter two islands? I can't find anyone for Kaua'i, surprisingly...even though the WINGS tour says there are many local bird guides.
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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 04:03   #13
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For Kauai, there's Jim Denny (http://www.kauaibirds.com/contact.htm). He and Jack Jeffrey have collaborated on a bunch of books. (http://www.kauaibirds.com/books.htm)

There's David Kuhn (http://soundshawaiian.com/recordist.html), but looking at his website doesn't show any tours. You can try asking him.

A friend of mine told me about Kauai North Shore Birding Tours (http://jnrigg.wixsite.com/kauai-birding-tours)

Please note: I've never taken any of these tours myself. The only person I've ever interacted with was Jack Jeffrey and only on Facebook. He's very very knowledgable
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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 04:43   #14
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Thanks for the help! Unfortunately Jim does not offer tours (anymore). I have not received a reply from David yet.

Kaua'i is definitely the toughest one right now. I may switch to Maui for the third destination if I can get a tour there instead. EDIT: Ok Maui is not possible because of 'Ohi'a Death, and plus access is not likely unless you can get a spot on the occasional events.

Last edited by Silverwolf : Friday 7th September 2018 at 05:17.
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Old Monday 17th September 2018, 07:32   #15
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Final day on Big Island. Not a bad run so far. The notable miss so far is palila, although it would have been nice to see not just hear akiapola'au. If I had gone on any other group to Hakalau I'd have seen multiple birds (!). And if I had gone on any other pelagic I'd have seen white-necked and Bulwer's petrel. If I hadn't been organizing this trip so late maybe I would have been intending to do them in the reverse order too, but there were no spaces. Ah well.

To O'ahu tomorrow. A few days to try for bristle-thighed curlew and the two forest birds. Not to mention the two bulbuls, and orange-cheeked waxbill, of course.
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Old Thursday 20th September 2018, 06:51   #16
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Final day of Oahu. Similar case. Some good views of a few birds, but not so much luck on the others. O'ahu 'elepaio was the target of all three days, but was not seen. It was heard once on the last day, just after sunset. No black noddy either, but I can pick that up another time.

I have since learned that orange-cheeked waxbill is no longer present, or expected to be present, on this island. Needless to say red-vented bulbul is not a problem on O'ahu. Red-whiskered bulbul took a little effort, but it is done!
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Old Thursday 20th September 2018, 07:12   #17
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Apologies for this late info - birds seen on Mau'i and Kau'i

Red-vented Bulbul
Zebra Dove
House Finch
Java Sparrow
Red Jungle Fowl
Great Frigatebird
Red-crested Cardinal
Yellow-fronted Canary
Black-rumped Waxbill
Wandering Tattler
Black-crowned Night Heron
White-tailed Tropicbird
Hawaiian Duck
White Tern
White-rumped Shama
Red-billed Leothrix
Hawaiian Coot
Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt
Chestnut Munia
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Cardinal
Apapane
Elepaio
Akiki
Erckell's Francolin
Red-footed Booby
Red-tailed Tropicbird
Laysan Albatross
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Nene
Hawaiian Moorhen

There were some others, - Pacific Golden Plover everywhere, Palm Dove common around Honolulu.

Hardly thrill-a-minute, and I did hear a couple of other endemics which I never got an ID for.
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Old Thursday 20th September 2018, 08:13   #18
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Thank you Jon! Curious what "palm dove" is though...presumably the same as "spotted".
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Old Thursday 20th September 2018, 16:06   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwolf View Post
Thank you Jon! Curious what "palm dove" is though...presumably the same as "spotted".
probably....

It was 4 years ago. I don't remember what happened last week...
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Old Friday 28th September 2018, 01:20   #20
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Good coverage on Big Island and O'ahu, but I will need to return for these guys: Akiapola'au, O'ahu 'Elepaio, and Palila. Next time! I hear the Palila is not doing well (hence the absence of sightings recently for this species), but I hope it recovers...
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