Quietly Observe the Many Colorful Birds of Oahu

Photo of a Java Sparrow, One of the Many Birds of Oahu

A java sparrow perched on a branch

While birding (also known as birdwatching) isn’t as “sexy” as scuba diving, surf lessons, and swimming with spinner dolphins, there’s something genuinely soothing and uplifting about spotting a rare bird in the wild. There are nearly 200 distinct birds of Oahu, but only 16 of them are native (“endemic”) to this awe-inspiring land. Birdwatching tours in Hawaii are few and far between as there aren’t many experts in the state who offer guiding services. Prince Waikiki’s world-class concierge team has its thumb on the pulse of the prettiest birding destinations here in Oahu. Seek out their services upon arrival to book a half- or full-day birding tour through a local outfitter.

20 Birds of Oahu: A Comprehensive Checklist

As mentioned above, there are nearly 200 thriving birds of Oahu that survey this island’s dense forestry, dramatic shoreline, jagged mountains, and quiet neighborhoods. The entire list of species can be found here, but here are 20 birds that adventurers may spot on a tour or self-guided journey. Click the links below to learn more about each bird.

  1. ʻAmakihi
  2. ʻApapane
  3. ʻElepaio
  4. Photo of a Japanese White-Eye, One of the Prettiest Birds of OahuBristle-thighed curlew
  5. Common myna
  6. Frigatebird
  7. Japanese white-eye (as pictured on the right)
  8. Java sparrow
  9. Lesser scaup
  10. Noddy
  11. Northern pintail
  12. Pacific golden plover
  13. Red-billed leiothrix
  14. Red-vented bulbul
  15. Ruddy turnstone
  16. Sanderling
  17. Tropicbird
  18. Wandering tattler
  19. White-rumped shama
  20. White tern
Photo of an ʻApapane, One of the Many Birds of Oahu

An up-close look at a vibrant ʻapapane

3 Top-Rated Oahu Birding Tours

The best way to effortlessly spot an array of native Hawaiian birds is to embark on a guided birding tour. While it’s unlikely to log over 100 birds of Oahu during one of these expeditions, each tour should cross paths with the prettiest endemic species, such as the ʻamakihi, ʻapapane, and ʻelepaio. 

Prince Waikiki: A Modern Honolulu Hotel

Photo of a Woman Lounging in an Infinity Pool After Several Hours of Observing the Birds of OahuAfter seeking, observing, and documenting nearly 100 distinct, beautiful birds of Hawaii, return to Prince Waikiki for an evening of sophistication and natural beauty. Soak inside the marina-front infinity pool, enjoy a sunset dinner at 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, and revel inside the VIP Prince Waikiki Club. And, after waking with the sun, slip back down to 100 Sails for the best breakfast buffet in Waikiki, complete with made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, okayu, and so many Japanese delicacies.

Prince’s concierge team has insider knowledge on the best birdwatching tours in Hawaii, including the three mentioned above. They can be reached at 1-808-944-4423.