Experience the Garden Isle and its rarest birds with local experts. Mandy Talpas has designed an all-inclusive birding experience to find some of the most endangered birds in the world. Join her on a quest into the Kokee to find Kauai’s most sought-after Hawaiian forest birds and out into the Kaulakahi Channel in search of endangered seabirds. We will traverse muddy trails in one of the wettest forests on Earth, and journey by boat around a forbidden island. You are guaranteed to enjoy exploring parts of Kauai most visitors never lay eyes on while supporting wildlife conservation initiatives and local businesses.

Highlight Target Species

Kauai Amakihi, Anianiau, Apapane, Akekee, Akikiki, Puaiohi, Iiwi, Kauai Elepaio, Hwamei, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Japanese Bush Warbler, Hawaiian Coot, Hawaiian Gallinule, Hawaiian Stilt, Hawaiian Duck, Laysan Albatross, Black-footed Albatross, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Newell’s Shearwater, Christmas Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Hawaiian Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Tristam’s Storm-Petrel, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Masked Booby, Red-tailed Tropicbird, White-tailed Tropicbird, Brown Noddy, Hawaiian Noddy

“Mandy is so professional, knowledgeable and friendly! We could not have had a better bird expert on this tour! Thank you for being so passionate about the birds and for your conservation work as well. I will never forget this tour!”

Price

$3,500, double occupancy
+$575 single supplement
+$450 Extreme Alakai Extension


Duration

7 days


Dates

2022
April 25-May 1, 2022

2023
April 24-30, 2023


Group Size

4-7

Itinerary

Note: The order of our itinerary may change.

 

Day 1

Fly into Honolulu and meet your new friends at our welcome dinner at 6:15pm at our hotel in Kapaa.

 

Day 2

We embark on a rainforest adventure with astounding views of Waimea Canyon, the Pacific’s Grand Canyon, on our journey into Kokee State Park to find Kauai’s endemic Kauai Amakihi, Apapane, Anianiau, and Kauai Elepaio with hopes of a glimpse of the rare Akekee. Other forest birds we should encounter in Kokee include Red Junglefowl, the skulky Japanese Bush Warbler and melodious Hwamei.

Target species: Kauai Amakihi, Apapane, Anianiau, Kauai Elepaio, Akekee, Red Junglefowl, Japanese Bush Warbler, Hwamei

 

 

Day 3

Discover the beauty of Kauai’s North Shore in pursuit of impressive seabirds along Kilauea Lighthouse NWR’s stunning coastline and more endemic water birds amongst Hanalei NWR’s historic loʻi ponds. While scanning the rugged cliffs of Kilauea covered with Red-footed Boobies and surveying the skies for Brown Booby, spectacular Red-tailed and White-tailed tropicbirds, majestic Laysan Albatross, and soaring Great Frigatebirds, we will enjoy up close views of Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene (Hawaiian Goose). We will then explore Hanalei valley’s lush important bird area for more of Hawaii’s endangered water birds, such as the Hawaiian Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Common Gallinule, and the Hawaiian Duck.

Target species: Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Laysan Albatross, Great Frigatebirds, Nene (Hawaiian Goose), Hawaiian Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Common Gallinule, and Hawaiian Duck

 

 

Day 4

We embark on a pelagic birding charter out of Port Allen with an experienced local captain for Black Noddy, Brown Noddy, Sooty Tern, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, and Bulwer’s Petrel with hopes of finding: Masked Booby, Hawaiian Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Christmas Shearwater, Newell’s Shearwater, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Band-rumped Storm Petrel, jaegar species, incidental cetacean sightings, and more!

 

 

Day 5

On our last day we will search for the rare Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and any remaining species that have evaded us.

 

 

Day 6

Depart for home from Lihue airport after breakfast at the hotel.

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Details

Other birding tour companies won’t even attempt to search for the last of Kauai’s critically endangered endemic birds. Mandy has made Hawaii her permanent home and continues to gain local contacts and knowledge to help protect the last of Kauai’s native species and provide her most passionate guests with the best opportunities. She looks forward to sharing more unforgettable adventures in the wilderness of the Garden Isle.

Dates

2022: April 25-May 1
2023: April 24-30

 

Pricing

$3,500 (double occupancy) plus tax
Single supplement: $575
Extreme Alakai Extension: $450

Please contact us directly for availability and pricing on booking this as a private tour. Private tours can accommodate up to 11 participants.

 

Included

The tour fee is $3,500 for one person in double occupancy. It includes all lodging from Day 1 through Day 7, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7, all ground transportation (including airport shuttles), boat reservations, and the guide services of the tour leader. However, if you would like to recognize your guide, boat captain, hotel maids, for exceptional service, it is entirely appropriate to tip.

The single supplement for the tour is $575. If you do not have a roommate but wish to share, we will try to pair you with a roommate from the tour; but if none is available, you will be billed for the single supplement. Tour fees are based on double occupancy; one-half the cost of a double room is priced into the tour fee. The single supplement is calculated by taking the actual cost of a single room and subtracting one-half the cost of a double room (plus any applicable taxes).

 

Not Included

The above fee does not include your airfare to and from Lihue, airport taxes, transfers, visa, any checked or carry-on baggage charges imposed by the airlines, any alcoholic beverages, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

 

Activity Level

To reach the highland forests where the native birds are found and search for pelagic birds by boat, we will have to start our days early, as we’ll want to be near our destinations close to dawn. Much of our birding will be easy walking on roads, wide trails, and boats. The mountain trails will still be slippery and muddy and the valleys can be ridden with mosquitoes. Shoes with good grip and ankle support are recommended. Birding along the north shore will be within short walks from the van. You should be able to easily get in and out of a van (sometimes repeatedly), and able to walk at least three miles, where traction may not be the best and where footing is uneven. You should be prepared to bird in hot and humid environments, expect some rain. Sea conditions on the pelagic trip can range from calm seas to moderately rough, so you must have decent balance and an ability to steady yourself on a moving boat if you plan to take that trip. Those with balance and stability issues should bring a collapsible walking stick with a wrist loop, and those who find it difficult to stand for long periods should bring a small travel stool. If you’re uncertain as to whether this tour is a good match for your abilities, please don’t hesitate to contact Mandy.

Cancellation

Full payment is due 90 days before all-inclusive set departure date tours. Credit cards will be taken at the time of booking and charged a $500 per person non-refundable deposit. If you cancel outside of 90 days, you will receive a full refund minus your $500 deposit. If you cancel outside of 60 days, you will receive a 50% refund minus your $500 deposit. Your $500 per person deposit can be used as a credit towards another tour within one calendar year of your scheduled tour. If you cancel within less than 60 days of the tour no refund fees will be provided. No shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.

Extreme Alakai Extension

Cost: $450/person

We will bird our way through Kokee for an off-roading adventure to reach the start of our ascent into the Alakai. We will hike 6-10 miles and spend the entire day in the field searching for some of the most endangered birds in the world. This trek is not for the faint of heart with very challenging muddy terrain, steep cliffs, overgrown trails, stream crossings, and a 1,300′ elevation gain, in pursuit of the last I’iwi, Puaiohi, Akekee and Akikiki.

Birds You May See

Kauai Amakihi, Anianiau, Apapane, Akekee, Akikiki, Puaiohi, Iiwi, Kauai Elepaio, Hwamei, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Japanese Bush Warbler, Hawaiian Coot, Hawaiian Gallinule, Hawaiian Stilt, Hawaiian Duck, Laysan Albatross, Black-footed Albatross, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Newell’s Shearwater, Christmas Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Hawaiian Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Tristam’s Storm-Petrel, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Masked Booby, Red-tailed Tropicbird, White-tailed Tropicbird, Brown Noddy, Hawaiian Noddy

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Coming soon:

A Comprehensive Checklist of the Birds of Hawaii

A free, downloadable guide with information on the best time of year to see each every expected species in Hawaii, complete with emphasis on endemic, threatened, and endangered species.

 

Get Notified When this Guide is Released:

Meet Your Guide

Mandy Talpas

My goal with every birding trip is to help you view, learn about, and enjoy more birds! Whether you envision casually cruising the coastline in search of seabirds, chasing after endemic forest birds, exploring local hot spots, or all of the above. I am dedicated to providing customized excursions to create your ultimate Hawaii birding experience.

My promise on every eco-tour is to ensure that each guest is having a great time while learning about Hawaii’s alluring flora and fauna. When I’m not guiding I am proud to be involved in local avian conservation initiatives. I look forward to sharing Hawaii’s beautiful birds, unique wildlife, and the projects in place to help save them, with you.

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Need another reason to book this tour?

This is the only tour of its kind! Other all-inclusive birding tours to Hawaii rush through on a cookie-cutter itinerary with guides traveling from the mainland, and don’t get out on the water for pelagic species. Mandy has made Hawaii her permanent home and earns a living off of taking birders out of the city limits to experience the best Hawaii has to offer on a daily basis. She looks forward to sharing Big Island’s best birds, wildlife, food, scenery, history and culture with new friends.

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