I loved my birding in Hawaii with Mandy. I highly recommend her guided birding tours. Mandy found us the local specialties across the three islands we visited without rushing or stressing over logistics. I appreciate her local knowledge and her ability to put the birds and environment in context. It is encouraging to see the efforts being invested to preserve and improve sensitive Hawaii habitats. Seeing the results, in terms of wild spaces and the birds that thrive there, was a great counterweight to understanding how and why some species will not continue to survive in the wild. I was on the April 10-19, 2023 “Hawaii’s Best Birding Tour: Endemics to Palagics” with a fun group of birders. Thank you, Mandy, for making it a great experience.
Unrivaled Hawaii Birding Experience
The Ultimate Hawaii Multi-Island Birding Tour
Make New Friends
Enjoy the Complete Hawaii Birding Experience With Our Pioneering Expert Guide - Mandy Talpas
Experience the best of Hawaii and its beautiful birds with an expert guide in a fun and informative environment across 9 days, while making new birding friends! After working for other top birding tour operators and with conservation groups in Hawaii for years, Mandy has designed the ultimate all-inclusive Hawaii birding tour! She’s ecstatic to get you off the beaten path so you can enjoy the real Hawaii while supporting wildlife conservation initiatives and local businesses.
Book this tour and you’ll soon find yourself birding in paradise and on the trail with Hawaii’s premiere local guides in search of Hawaii’s endemic forest birds, majestic seabirds, native water birds, visiting shorebirds, and introduced species. We also provide you with scrumptious meals and oceanfront accommodations to ensure your birding vacation is comfortable and fulfilling. We can’t wait to share Hawaii’s best birds, wildlife, food, scenery, history and culture with you on this epic birding adventure.
Why Choose This Tour?
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 in large groups in multiple vehicles but not us!
See a multitude of Pelagics! We make sure you get out on the water to maximize your chances of seeing as many pelagic species as possible
Local expertise! 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 in her own tour vans
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$6,950 per person and $1,350 single supplement
March 11 -19, 2024
December 4 -12, 2024
January 23 -31, 2025
April 22 -30, 2025
Minimum 5, maximum 8
Target Species List
Please note that birds are listed in taxonomic order, read left to right
Hawaiian Goose | Branta sandvicensis | Nēnē | Endemic
Hawaiian Duck | Anas wyvilliana | Koloa maoli | Endemic
Kalij Pheasant | Lophura leucomelanos
Gray Francolin | Francolinus pondicerianus
Black Francolin | Francolinus francolinus
Chukar Alectoris | chukar chukar
Erckel's Spurfowl | Pternistis erckelii
Spotted Dove | Streptopelia chinensis chinensis
Zebra Dove | Geopelia striata
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse | Pterocles exustus
Common Gallinule | Gallinula galeata sandvicensis | `Alae `ula / Endemic sub
Hawaiian Coot | Fulica alai | ʻAlae kea Endemic
Black-necked Stilt | Himantopus mexicanus knudseni | Aeʻo | Endemic sub
Pacific Golden-Plover | Pluvialis fulva | Kōlea
Bristle-thighed Curlew | Numenius tahitiensis | Kioea
Wandering Tattler | Tringa incana
Long-tailed Jaegar | Stercorarius longicadus
Parasitic Jaegar | Stercorarius parasiticus
Pomarine Jaegar | Stercorarius pomarinus
White Tern | Gygis alba candida | Manu-o-Kū
Brown Noddy | Anous stolidus pileatus | Noio kōhā
Black Noddy | Anous minutus melanogenys | Noio | Endemic sub
Sooty Tern | Onychoprion fuscatus | ʻEwaʻewa
White-tailed Tropicbird | Phaethon lepturus dorotheae | Koa'e'kea
Red-tailed Tropicbird | Phaethon rubricauda roseotinctus | Koa'e'ula
Laysan Albatross | Phoebastria immutabilis | Mōlī
Leach's Storm-Petrel | Hydrobates leucorhous
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel | Hydrobates castro | ʻAkeʻake
Mottled Petrel | Pterodroma inexpectata
Juan Fernandez Petrel | Pterodroma externa
Hawaiian Petrel | Pterodroma sandwichensis | 'Ua'u | Endemic
White-necked Petrel | Pterodroma cervicalis
Black-winged Petrel | Pterodroma nigripennis
Bulwer's Petrel | Bulweria bulwerii | 'Ou
Wedge-tailed Shearwater | Ardenna pacifica | ʻUaʻu kani
Sooty Shearwater | Ardenna grisea
Short-tailed Shearwater | Ardenna tenuirostris
Christmas Shearwater | Puffinus nativitatis
Newell's Shearwater | Puffinus newelli | ʻAʻo | Endemic
Great Frigatebird | Fregata minor palmerstoni | ʻIwa
Red-footed Booby | Sula sula rubripes | ‘Ā
Brown Booby | Sula leucogaster plotus | ‘Ā
Masked Booby | Sula dactylatra personata | ‘Ā
Hawaiian Hawk | Buteo solitarius | ʻIo | Endemic
Short-eared Owl | Asio flammeus sandwichensis | Pueo | Endemic sub
Rose-ringed Parakeet | Psittacula krameri
Burrowing Parakeet | Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami
Red-masked Parakeet | Psittacara erythrogenys
Hawaiʻi ʻElepaio | Chasiempis sandwichensis | Endemic
Kauaʻi ʻElepaio | Chasiempis sclateri | Endemic
Oʻahu ʻElepaio | Chasiempis ibidis | Endemic
Eurasian Skylark | Alauda arvensis japonica
Red-whiskered Bulbul | Pycnonotus jocosus emeria
Red-vented Bulbul | Pycnonotus cafer bengalensis
Japanese Bush Warbler | Horornis diphone cantans
Warbling White-eye | Zosterops japonicus japonicus
Red-billed Leiothrix | Leiothrix lutea
Chinese Hwamei | Garrulax canorus canorus
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush | Garulax pectoralis
Common Myna | Acridotheres tristis tristis
ʻŌmaʻo | Myadestes obscurus | Hawaiian Thrush | Endemic
White-rumped Shama | Copsychus malabaricus
African Silverbill | Euodice cantans cantans
Java Sparrow | Lonchura oryzivora
Scaly-breasted Munia | Lonchura punctulata topela
Chestnut Munia | Lonchura atricapilla jagori
Chestnut Munia | Lonchura atricapilla jagori
Lavender Waxbill | Estrilda caerulescens
Common Waxbill | Estrilda astrild minor
Red Avadavat | Amandava amandava punicea
Palila | Loxioides bailleui | Endemic
ʻApapane | Himatione sanguinea | Endemic
I'iwi | Drepanis coccinea | Scarlet Honeycreeper | Endemic
Akiapōlāʻau | Hemignathus wilsoni | Endemic
ʻAnianiau | Magumma parva | Endemic
Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi | Chlorodrepanis virens | Endemic
Oʻahu ʻAmakihi | Chlorodrepanis flava | Endemic
Kauaʻi ʻAmakihi | Chlorodrepanis stejnegeri | Endemic
Hawaii Creeper | Loxops mana |ʻAlawī | Endemic
Hawaiʻi ʻAkepa | Loxops coccineus | Endemic
Yellow-fronted Canary | Crithagra mozambica barbata
Red-crested Cardinal | Paroaria coronata
Yellow-billed Cardinal | Paroaria capitata capitata
Saffron Finch | Sicalis flaveola flaveola
Day 1: Arrival
We will gather in the lobby at 6 pm to meet new friends before our welcome dinner together. Enjoy a night in Waikiki at comfortable accommodations as we rest before a big day ahead!
Day 2: Birding Oahu
Let’s go birding! After breakfast we will leave the city behind and enter the rainforests of the Koolau Mountains in pursuit of Oahu’s endemic honeycreeper, the Oʻahu ʻAmakihi before we visit Kapiolani Park to admire visiting Pacific Golden Plovers and Honolulu’s city bird, the beautiful White Tern. While exploring the park we are sure to encounter a myriad of introduced species among the banyan and rainbow shower trees, such as Common Myna, Red-crested Cardinal, Red-vented Bulbul, Yellow-fronted Canary, Java Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Spotted Dove, Zebra Dove, and Rose-ringed Parakeet. Then it is time to descend down into the valleys to search for the endangered Oʻahu ʻElepaio. It is worth noting that on our endemic bird adventure, we will most likely encounter White-rumped Shama, noisy flocks of Red-billed Leiothrix, an occasional Red-whiskered Bulbul, and chattering Warbling White-eyes. We finish the day with a night in Waikiki and time to get some well-earned rest.
Day 3: Birding Oahu
Today we journey up the picturesque windward side to experience the serenity of Oahu’s North Shore in search of visiting shorebirds, such as the Wandering Tattler and sought-after Bristle-thighed Curlew. While cruising the coastline, famous for world-class surf beaches and secluded coves with basking sea turtles, we are sure to find some flashy finches, such as the Saffron Finch and Chestnut Munia. The North Shore is also home to some of the last family farms on Oahu with crops of coffee, cacao, eggplant, papaya, pineapple, apple, banana, and even scattered shrimp farms with Black-crowned Night Heron, the endemic Hawaiian Coot, Common Gallinule (endemic subspecies), and Black-necked Stilt (endemic subspecies). This is our last night in Waikiki before we fly to the Big Island! Exciting!
Day 4: Flight to Big Island and Birding along the Leeward side of Big Island
Day 4 starts with a flight to the Big Island after breakfast to bird Saddle Road for Short-eared Owl (endemic subspecies), Eurasian Skylark, Chukar, California Quail, Wild Turkey, Erckel’s Spurfowl, Black, and Gray francolins and more. We will then drive through Waikoloa in search of more introduced species, like Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, African Silverbill and Red Avadavat on our way to the high elevations of Pu`u La`au. We will explore the subalpine dry forest of Mauna Kea for Hawaii Amakihi, HawaiʻiʻElepaio (Mauna Kea morph), with hopes of finding the critically endangered Palila, before returning to the Kona coast where we will spend the night.
Day 5: Birding Big Island’s Native Wet Forest
Get ready for day 5 as we experience Hakalau aka Hawaii’s honeycreeper heaven! Hakalau Forest NWR is a publicly restricted cloud forest reserve and is home to many of Hawaii’s endangered plants, native arthropods, and endemic birds. We will search for the unique Hawaii Creeper, the Hilo morph of the HawaiʻiʻElepaio, the gorgeous day glow orange Ākepa, the stunning long-billed ʻAkiapolaʻau, the Hawaiian Hawk, ʻŌmaʻo (Hawaii island’s endemic thrush) with beautiful I’iwi, Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi, and ʻApapane all over the blossoms of ancient ohia trees enshrouding us. Later, we settle down for another night in Kona.
Day 6: Pelagic off Birding Big Island
We embark on a pelagic birding charter out of Honokohau Harbor with an experienced local captain for Black Noddy, Brown Noddy, Sooty Tern, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, White-tailed Tropicbird, Great Frigatebird, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, and Bulwer’s Petrel with hopes of finding: Masked Booby, Hawaiian Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, White-necked Petrel, Newell’s Shearwater, Christmas Shearwater, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Band-rumped Storm Petrel, all three jaegar species, South Polar Skua, incidental cetacean sightings, and more! After our seabird extravaganza we will head back to our ocean front accommodations for some time off. Before dinner we will make a brief and casual birding stop to look for some rare, introduced specialties like Lavender Waxbill, Red-masked and Burrowing Parakeets, just before sunset. After dinner, it is time for bed and our last night in Kona before a busy seventh day!
Day 7: Birding Kona coast and Flight to Kauai
After breakfast, we make a brief birding stop along the Kona coast before we fly to Lihue. On our first day on Kauai we will 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’s historic loʻi ponds. While scanning the rugged cliffs of Kilauea covered with Red-footed Boobies and surveying the skies for Brown Booby, Laysan Albatross, spectacular Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, 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, like the endemic Hawaiian Duck. It is then time to head back to our accommodations and spend our first night in Kapa´a.
Day 8: Birding Kauai
The penultimate day begins with a rainforest adventure with astounding views of Waimea Canyon, the Pacific’s Grand Canyon, on our journey into Kōkeʻe State Park to find Kaua’i‘s endemic Kaua’i ʻAmakihi, ʻApapane, ʻAnianiau, and Kaua’i ʻElepaio. Other forest birds we could encounter in Kōkeʻe include Red Junglefowl, the skulky Japanese Bush Warbler and the melodious Chinese Hwamei. We then settle down for another nightin Kapaʻa
Day 9: Morning Kauai Birding and Departure Day
On our last morning on Kauai we will search for the rare Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush as well as any of Kauai’s introduced specialty species that we haven’t already been able to find before we check out at 11 am and say our goodbyes to our fellow birders and an unforgettable trip.
Add ons: Up to 3 additional nights in Waikiki before our small group tour meets and up to 3 additional nights in Kapaa can be booked at Mandy’s group rate (with resort fees waived) with up to 45 days or more notice.
What the price includes: The tour fee is $6,950 for one person in double occupancy. It includes all lodging from Day 1 through Day 8, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 9, all ground transportation (excluding personal airport shuttles), both inter island flights, one checked bag per person on inter island flights, the expert guide services of the tour leader, and entrances into all of the parks. Tipping at group meals on pelagic trips are included in your tour fee and will be handled for you. However, if you would like to recognize your guide/ driver/ logistics coordinator for exceptional service, it is entirely appropriate to tip. The single supplement for the tour is $1,350. 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 Honolulu (HNL) and from Lihue (LIH), personal airport transfers, any alcoholic beverages, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
Activity level and recommendations: 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 comfortable boats. Most trails can be uneven, wet and muddy. Shoes with good grip and ankle support are recommended. You should be able to easily get in and out of a van (sometimes repeatedly), comfortable walkingat least two miles, where traction may not be the best and where footing is uneven, and stand for long periods of time. You should be prepared to bird in hot, humid, and cool environments while expecting some rain. Sea conditions on the pelagic trip can range from calm seas to moderately rough, so you must have decent balance, an ability to steady yourself on a moving boat, and be able to go up and down a ladder, 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 60 days before all-inclusive set departure date tours. Credit cards will be taken at the time of booking and charged a $1000 per person non-refundable deposit. If you cancel outside of 60 days, you will receive a full refund minus your $1000 deposit. If you cancel outside of 45 days, you will receive a 50% refund minus your $1000 deposit. If you cancel within less than 45 days of the tour no refund fees will be provided. No shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.
Read Why People Love Us
My trip with Hawaii Bird Tours was worth every penny and far exceeded all expectations!
Mandy is a phenomenal birder, naturalist, guide, and host. Her knowledge of Hawaiian ecology and her care for both birds and wildlife is apparent and contagious. I learned a wealth of knowledge while spending 10 days with Mandy across Oahu, Kauai, and Big Island. The 10 day, all-inclusive multi-island tour was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience!
Mandy deserves all the praise in the world for her efforts to educate and inspire visiting birders about the conservation challenges and natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands. Booking with Hawaii Bird Tours is an absolute must for any birders visiting Hawaii!