This tour is operated by our partners, Rockjumper Tours, and led by our shared leader, Stephan Lorenz.
Hawaii is the most remote archipelago on Earth, located north of the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Aside from the Islands’ world-renowned beauty, many unique features attract naturalists here, chiefly the high degree of endemism among the various life forms, active volcanism, verdant and varied native forests, and the surrounding great wilderness of the Pacific Ocean. The island chain’s Hawaiian Honeycreepers have long attracted birders – and understandably so. The diverse forms evolved from a single ancestor akin to a North American finch, into nectarivores, bark-pickers, insect gleaners, or borers of many brilliant colours. These honeycreepers and native birds of other families have unfortunately been decimated, beginning with the arrival of the Polynesians and continuing with the introduction of mosquitoes and a multitude of alien plant and animal species. Many bird species have consequently gone extinct, and the remaining survivors face a precarious future.
Our comprehensive tour covers three of the major islands searching for some of the most critically endangered birds on the planet, while also featuring fantastic scenery and phenomenal underwater life. Some of the top birds of the tour include the bizarre Akiapolaau, endangered Bristle-thighed Curlew, tricky Hawaiian Petrel, elegant White (Fairy) Tern, nesting Laysan Albatross, and, of course, the charismatic Iiwi. Other endangered endemics include Akohekohe (Crested Honeycreeper), Akikiki (Kauai Creeper), Hawaii Akepa, and the Critically Endangered Palila. Join us as we focus on these surviving endemic forest species, seabirds, and other Hawaiian avian specialities, along with the riches of this fabulous chain of picturesque tropical islands!