Bird Watching

Native forest birds such as the Apapane and Elepaio can be seen on the nearby Maunawili Trail. Even if one does not see an endemic bird, the beautifully melodic song of the Shama Thrush as well as many other species can be enjoyed right in the Hale Nalo gardens. The best location for viewing seabirds is—quite fortunately—nearby at Makapuu Point where Frigatebirds, Boobies, Noddies, Terns, Tropicbirds and Shearwaters can be seen flying on the off shore breezes.

Birdsong is plentiful, and beautifully soothing. Below are some samplings of birdsong as recorded by our friend David Kuhn ( These three are found on all of the Hawaiian Islands and are perhaps the most vocal of song birds in the state.

apapane The ʻApapane is a type of honeycreeper that is endemic to Hawaiʻi. The bright crimson feathers of the ʻapapane were once used to adorn the ʻahuʻula (feather cloaks), mahiole (feather helmets), and nā lei hulu (feather garlands) of aliʻi (royalty).
elepaioThe Hawaiʻi ʻelepaio is a monarch flycatcher found on the Big Island of Hawaii. Formerly, all three ʻelepaio species, the Kauaʻi ʻelepaio, the Oʻahu ʻelepaio, C. ibidis, and this species were considered conspecific.
shama thrushNative to South and Southeast Asia, the Shama Thrush have been introduced to Kauaʻi, Hawai’i, in early 1931 from Malaysia (by Alexander Isenberger), and to Oʻahu in 1940 (by the Hui Manu Society). They are common in valley forests or on the ridges of the southern Koʻolaus, and tend to nest in undergrowth or low trees of lowland broadleaf forests.