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Quietly Observe the Many Colorful Birds of Oahu
February 01 ,2020

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. Bristle-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

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. 

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