There are currently 3 Maui endemic bird species left, Maui ʻAlauahio (Maui Creeper), ʻAkohekohe (Crested Honeycreeper), and Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill) . The Maui ʻAlauahio is the only species persisting in an area open to the public and commercial tours.
The Maui Nature Conservancy has refused access to allow commercial tour operators into the Waikamoi Preserve, which is the only accessible area where ʻAkohekohe and Kiwikiu can sometimes still be encountered. Maui TNC has also refused access to Haleakalā National Park staff and Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project staff-led hikes, which used to be offered regularly. Despite countless attempts of reaching out to Maui TNC with our willingness to offer guided birding trips as unpaid docents and conservationists, in addition to some of our guests offering thousands of dollars in donations for just one opportunity, and Mandy previously volunteering with Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project within Waikamoi Preserve, we are currently still be turned away by Maui TNC.
According to Maui TNC’s Waikamoi webpage the ONLY way to try and see Kiwikiu, a critically endangered species with less than 120 known wild individuals and the endangered ʻAkohekohe, was to hope to be one of the 6 lucky guests who got through their registration lottery 30 days before their scheduled hike on the second Saturday of the month, which are now postponed indefinitely.
The only other species on Maui, not found on any of the other islands in Hawaii is the Orange-cheeked Waxbill, which is not considered countable by the American Birding Association. It is considered countable by the American Ornithological Society (and approved by our Hawaii Birds Records Committee) and recorded sightings, but they continue to remain nomadic.
There is also the added current stress on our Maui ohana after the devastating Lahaina fires. With so many of our Maui residents losing their homes and businesses, most of the hotels still standing in western Maui are still at full capacity with locals trying to regroup, rebuild and persevere.
We do still encourage interested visitors to seek out legal accommodations in East Maui to support our friends running local businesses and local eco-tours on Maui.
If you are interested in hiring Mandy and/ or Patti for a customized private excursion on Maui. We are happy to cater to your requests as best we can based on our availability and for those of you traveling alone, or seeking a more affordable option, we recommend booking a day trip with our friend Wendy.