Most Common Species Of Birds Seen In Hawaii

Most Common Species Of Birds Seen In Hawaii

There is no other region in the world that is more interesting or remarkable than Hawaiin island. Hawaii, the only island state in America-which, is considered a paradise for many. This place is famous for its natural beauty and magnificent birds of Hawaii. Do you know, Hawaii is the bird extinction capital of the world? Its tropical climate, beaches, and landforms make this place comfortable for birds. More than 350 bird’s species are found in Hawaii and its nearby islands. You’ll discover that no place on earth is home to as many birds.

Now let’s take a look at the native birds of Hawaii.

List of Common Hawaiian Birds


Your Hawaiian tour is incomplete without spotting the official Hawaii state bird. Nene is known as the Hawaii state bird and also called Hawaiian goose. You can see these birds of Hawaii in several places, such as Hawaii’s islands- Maui and Kaua. This Hawaii state bird is a medium-sized bird, 16 inches tall. They spend most of their time on the ground and consume berries and grasses.


I’iwi is one of more than 50 species of honeycreeper. These birds of Hawaii is limited to just three islands, and the population appears stable on the island of Hawaii- Maui, and Kaua. I’iwi- a are popular for their brilliant scarlet and body plumage, black wings, and tail. Their diet consists lobeloid flowers but also eat small arthropods such as spiders and other insects. Mostly I’iwi’s are well known for their long flights over the forest in search of food.

Hawaiian Owl

If you have ever caught sight of a Hawaiian owl looking at you, that means you have witnessed something special. This Hawaiian owl is very difficult to capture in photos. Hawaiian owls are endemic to Hawaiian islands and are occasionally active in the daytime. You can find this bird of Hawaii in open grasslands and pasture areas. These native Hawaiian birds are popular for their yellow eyes, mottled brown pattern across their head, wings, chest, and back.

White Tern

Did you know white tern don’t build their nests? These native Hawaiian birds lay their eggs on branches or roofs or bare surfaces. Sometimes you can see them in small groups and fly very high in pairs. Their small eyes, surrounded by black rings, make them seem much larger.

Japanese White Eye

This species is found in Japan. They are smaller than sparrows having a length of 11 cm and weigh around 10 grams. This species’ size and color are very similar to a leaf, so when they are in green bushes, it is not easy to find. They are famous for their black slightly curved bill, olive-green body, and pale brown belly. They are omnivorous, eat insects and nectar, and live in forests, woods, gardens, and parks.

Hawaiian Petrel

Hawaiian petrel is also called Ua’a in Hawaiian for its haunting call ‘oo ah oo’. They are native Hawaiian birds that are found in nearshore environments around the Hawaiian Islands. Their flight style is quite different from shearwaters, and they fly much faster and higher. These species can fly long distances for several months. Hawaiian petrel has attractive, large dark grey-brown and white Petre and typically form large discrete breeding colonies.

Red Whiskered Bulbul

Interestingly, red-whiskered bulbul has distinct red ear patches and red tail coverts that attract everyone. These textures and bold colors make them look different from other birds. They were first sighted in 1965 in Oahu and now are very common. This bird of Hawaii is 20 cm in length and eats fruits and small insects.

Hawaiian Cardinal

If you want to see something unique about the birds of Hawaii, you should definitely see the Hawaiian Cardinals. You can see them in dense underbrush or forests. There are two distinct varieties of Hawaiian Cardinal:

1.Northern Cardinal

This type of Hawaiian cardinal is slightly smaller than the American Robin. Male cardinals are bright red with a black face, and females have mostly brownish with some red in wings, crest, and tail. They are mid-sized songbirds with body lengths of 21-23.5 cm and eat insects and berries. An interesting fact about this species is they are the state bird of seven US states.

2.Red Crested Cardinal

This Hawaiian cardinal is a very common bird of Hawaii and is mainly found on Hawaiin Island. You can see them in parks, lawns, and open dry forests. This native Hawaiian bird is a medium-sized bird, has a brilliant red head, crest, and breast. Red-crested cardinals typically travel in pairs and eat seeds, insects, plants, and fruits.

Pacific Golden Plover

Have you ever noticed a bird dancing when the rain is imminent? It was believed that golden plovers flocked when the rain was imminent. Their upper part is dark brown, spangled with gold to pale yellow or white. Face and neck are black with a white border, and in winter, the black is lost, and the plover then has a yellowish face. They typically arrive in Hawaii in August and won’t go until May. Moreover, they are the most common winter migrants in Hawaii.

Read More:- 13 Best Wild Ohio Birds To See In USA

Sharp Tailed Sandpiper

The sharp-tailed sandpipers make Hawaiian beaches an amazing place in the world. They are very similar to the pectoral sandpipers. But sharp-tailed sandpipers have more red on the head and have fewer stripes between chest and belly. These birds are 22 cm in length and 39 to 114 grams in weight and mainly eat insects and other invertebrates.

Hawaii Elepaio

Hawaii elepaio is a small flycatcher on Hawaii island. These birds of Hawaii are very popular for their bold and curious personalities. These are only 5 inches long and mostly found at higher forest elevations.

Zebra Dove

If you live in Oahu, then you have undoubtedly heard the sound of Zebra doves. An interesting fact about this species is they have zebra-like striations on the neck and breast. Zebra dove is also known as the Barred Dove. They are famous for their blue facial skin and gray to light brown feathers. Moreover, they are 20-23 cm long and 41-66 grams in weight. These birds are usually found in small groups and love to eat small insects and grass seeds.

Hawaiian Crow

Did you know that despite the harness of its call, the crow is considered a type of songbird? This Hawaiian bird is also known as Alala. This word is associated with chants and cries. Their feet are black, dark brown to black sheen and bristling throat feathers. The male Hawaiian crow is about 20 inches in length, and the female crow is slightly smaller than the male. They mainly eat small invertebrates such as snails, isopods, branches, and various fruits from the plants pilo, kolea, and mamaki and build their nests with twigs and soil.


Palila is a native honeycreeper species in Hawaii that eats green seed pods of mamane trees. They are one of the ten rare species in North America. Generally, these species are very shy and are found in pairs or small groups. Palila is one of the first species listed under the ‘Endangered Species Act’ (source) in 1967.


Apapane is the most abundant native forest bird and honeycreepers in Hawaii. They are available in Kaua’i, Maui, and Hawaii. Their bright crimson feathers are used to make helmets, capes, and feather leis of Hawaiian nobility. They consume nectar and a variety of insects. The most amazing fact about their male species is they are well-known singers and have six different calls and ten different song patterns.

Hawaiian Hawk

Your Hawaiian trip may be incomplete without spotting Hawaiian cultural birds. Hawaiian hawks live only in Hawaii and are a symbol of royalty in Hawaiian culture. Females are 18 inches in length, and male species are 16 inches in length that mean female species are longer than the male. Their entire body is covered in dark brown feathers.

Maui Alauahio

Maui Alauahio is a small, yellow-green Hawaiian honeycreeper. They are insectivorous and eat branches, bark, and insects. The bill of this species is curved and is very similar to Hawaii amakihi. Mau’i Alauahio is found in Maui, so that you can call them birds of Maui island.

Kaua’i Amakihi

This species is a Hawaiian honeycreeper. They are found on Kaua’i island, so it is also called a bird of Kaua’i island. Both male and female species are greenish-yellow with black lores, downcurved, and sickle-shaped beak. The bird of Kaua’i Amakihi is known for the longest bill and are the largest surviving species of amakihi.

Hawaiian Duck

The Hawaiian duck is a species of bird in the family of Anatidae. They are medium-size species and have a dark greenish bill with an orange tip in some females, and both have spotted tail feathers. The male Hawaiian duck has an average length of 248-50 cm, and the female Hawaiian duck has an average length of 40-4 cm. The pure Hawaiian duck is the bird of the Kaua’i island because they are found only on Kaua’i island and ponds on Hawaii island. They consume freshwater vegetation, mollusks, insects such as mosquitoes, mosquito larvae, earthworms, insect larvae, and other aquatic invertebrates.  

Final Words

These few species are just an overview of your Hawaiian trips. These Hawaii birds are popular for their facial texture, feathers, bill, and colors. You may find various birds in Hawaiian islands such as seabirds, shorebirds, and some islands beautiful endemic. Hawaiian island gives birders the opportunities to see species from around the world.  


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