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64 Endemic Birds of Hawaii: Checklist for Birding in Hawaii

If you're traveling to Hawaii, you're going to want to know what species to expect. Here is the complete guide to endemic birds of Hawaii. Of the 64 Hawaiian birds species, 34 are still in the wild and 30 have gone extinct.

Birds of Hawaii

64 Endemic Birds of Hawaii: Checklist for Hawaii Birding

Hawaii was once home to a great number of exotic birds that have now gone extinct due to the introduction of non-native plants and animals. Many of the indigenous bird species that remain are struggling to maintain their populations.

Keep reading to learn more about the endemic birds of Hawaii.

Endemic Birds of Hawaii: 34 Current Species

1. Nene (Hawaiian Goose)

  • Latin name: Branta sandvicensis
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: World’s rarest goose
  • Where they are found: Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi
  • Height: 16 inches (41 cm)
  • Weight: 3.36 to 6.72 lbs (1.52 to 3.05 kg)
  • Diet: Seeds, leaves, fruit, and flowers of shrubs and grasses
Nene National bird of Hawaii

Also known as the Hawaiian goose, this buff and brown barred goose is Hawaii’s official state bird. It gets its name from the “nay-nay” sound it makes. Back when Captain James Cook first arrived in the Hawaiian islands in 1778, there were about 25,000 of these birds, but hunters and predators like cats and Asian mongooses reduced the population down to only about 30 individuals in the mid-1900s. Today, the nene is protected but remains the world’s rarest goose.

2. Laysan Duck

  • Latin name: Anas laysanensis
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Rarest native waterfowl in the United States
  • Where they are found: Laysan Island
  • Length: 15 to 17 inches (38 to 43 cm)
  • Weight: 3.5 to 14 ounces (99.22 to 396.89 g)
  • Diet: Grass seeds, leaves, algae, shrimps, insect larvae, brine flies and moths

Named for the island it lives on, this small, brown duck with the white eye-ring is a cute little fellow, but it does things differently than other birds. For example, it simply freezes up when startled instead of flying off.

Also, it feeds on its favorite food, brine flies, by running through swarms of them with its beak wide open. Almost erased from the earth by rabbits, this duck is now the “rarest native waterfowl in the United States.”

3. Hawaiian Duck (Koloa maoli)

  • Latin name: Anas wyvilliana
  • Conservation status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Declining due to hybridization
  • Where they are found: All the Hawaiian islands except Kaho‘olawe (double check)
  • Length: 15.5 to 19.5 inches (40 to 50 cm)
  • Weight: 16 to 21.3 ounces (460 to 604 g)
  • Diet: Freshwater vegetation, grass seeds, insects, snails, earthworms, crayfish, tadpoles

Watch on YouTube

Would you believe that love is killing off the Hawaiian duck? Also known as koloa maoli (“native duck”), this mottled brown duck has lived in Hawaii for thousands of years but is killing off its own species because it has a fondness for cross-breeding with the mallard duck. Conservation efforts are saving the Hawaiian duck by keeping these two love bird species apart.

4. Hawaiian Coot

  • Latin name: Fulica alai
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: White frontal shield
  • Where they are found: All Hawaiian islands except for Kaho‘olawe
  • Length: 13 to 16 inches (33 to 40.6 cm)
  • Weight: Avg is 1.5 pounds (700 g).
  • Diet: Seeds, leaves, insects, tadpoles, snails, crustaceans and small fish

Watch on YouTube

No, this is not a silly old man. The Hawaiian coot is a small, slate-gray waterbird with a distinctive white shield running along its forehead and beak. Called a mud hen in the native language, this bird loves hanging out in freshwater marshes and lagoons.

Native Hawaiians once regarded this coot as a deity, but they also loved eating it.

5. Laysan Albatross

  • Latin name: Phoebastria immutabilis
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened
  • Unique feature: Long Lifespan
  • Where they are found: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
  • Length: 32 inches (81 cm);
  • Weight: 4.2 to 9.0 pounds (1.9 to 4.1 kg);
  • Wingspan: 6.41 to 6 feet (1.95 to 2.03 m)
  • Diet: Squid, fish, and crustaceans
Laysan albatross Hawaii

Named after the island on which it breeds, this black and white albatross normally enjoy a long lifespan of up to 40 years, but longline fishing and plastic trash are cutting short the lives of many of this species.

Like other albatrosses, this species mate for life, but females are known to form bonds with each other when caring for their young. By the way, experts say there is a female Laysan albatross, named Wisdom, that is approximately 68 years old, making it the “oldest known wild bird in the United States.”

6. Black-footed albatross

  • Latin name: Phoebastria nigripes
  • Conservative status: Near Threatened
  • Unique feature: Dark plumage and black feet
  • Where they are found: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
  • Length: 27 to 29 inches (68 to 74 cm)
  • Weight: 5.7 To 9.5 pounds (2.6 to 4.3 kg)
  • Wingspan: 6.2 to 7.2 feet (190 to 220 cm)
  • Diet: Squid, crustaceans, fish and fish eggs

Standing out from other albatrosses, this smaller beauty has dark plumage and black feet for which it is named. When it’s not soaring over the ocean blue searching for fish and squid, it is breeding in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It thwarts off predators by screaming at them. Like other albatrosses, this species forms lifelong bonds and performs elaborate courtship displays.

7. Hawaiian Petrel

  • Latin name: Pterodroma sandwichensis
  • Conservative status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Forage at night and long distances
  • Where they are found: Maui, Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi and Lānaʻi
  • Length: 16 inches (40.64 cm)
  • Weight: 15 ounces (425.24 g)
  • Wingspan: 36 inches (91 cm)
  • Diet: Squid, fish, and crustaceans

Watch on YouTube

Can you imagine leaving your kids alone to go 6,000 miles to go grocery shopping? Well, that’s what the Hawaiian petrel does when it’s breeding. Called ‘Ua'u in the native Hawaiian tongue, this dark gray and white petrel often makes an “oo ah oo” call just after sunset when it heads out to forage for fish and squid. This vulnerable species is threatened by cats, rats, city lights and power lines.

8. Bonin Petrel

  • Latin name: Pterodroma hypoleuca
  • Conservative status: Least Concern
  • Unique feature: Secretive birds with night vision
  • Where they are found: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (99%)
  • Length: 11.81 inches (30 cm)
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces (167.26 g)
  • Wingspan: 26.37 inches (67 cm)
  • Diet: Fish, squid

Many fishermen would envy the Bonin petrel for its excellent night vision which is the result of high levels of the pigment, rhodopsin. Like the Hawaiian petrel above, this petrel also forages at night on the sea. This bird of black, charcoal and white plumage is a quiet, shy homebody so much that there is still much that researchers don’t know about it yet. But, it is believed to mate for life, and part of its stomach turns prey into an energy-rich oil that helps the bird fly lighter.

9. Newell's Shearwater

  • Latin name: Puffinus newelli
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Deep-water divers
  • Where they are found: Kauaʻi, Maui, Moloka'i, and the Big Island
  • Length: 13 inches (33 cm)
  • Weight: 0.75 to 0.94 pounds (0.340 to 0.425 kg)
  • Wingspan: 8.8 to 9.8 inches (22.35 to 24.89 cm)
  • Diet: Squid and small fish

If you’re exploring the forested hills and cliffs on Kaua’i and hear what sounds like a herd of braying donkeys, you may want to look up because it could be a colony of these black and white seabirds. They are great divers that can dive into the ocean at a depth of 150 feet (45 m) when pursuing fish and squid. Sadly, their numbers are declining due to cats, pigs, invasive plants, and power lines.

10. Hawaiian Hawk

  • Latin name: Buteo solitarius
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened
  • Unique feature: Hawaii’s only hawk
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi (Big Island)
  • Length: 16 to 18 inches (40 to 46 cm)
  • Weight: 15.6 to 21.3 ounces (441 to 605 g)
  • Diet: Rodents, birds, lizards, insects

The only native hawk in Hawaii, this cream-colored and brown-mottled raptor is regarded as a symbol of royalty in Hawaiian culture. Called “ʻio” in the native language, this hawk originally fed on smaller birds and ducks but now also eats introduced animals such as rodents and lizards. Common threats to the Hawaiian hawk include starvation, illegal shootings, vehicle collisions, poisoning and habitat loss.

11. Kauaʻi ʻElepaio

  • Latin name: Chasiempis sclateri
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Grayish-brown with low-pitched call
  • Where they are found: Kauai
  • Length: 5.51 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.42 to 0.63 ounces (12 to 18 g)
  • Diet: Insects

Named for the island on which it lives, this songbird may be little but has a big personality. Like all ‘elepaios in the Hawaiian state, this little monarch flycatcher is the first native bird you will hear singing in the morning and the last to tune out at night. All ‘elepaios also are curious and may follow a person in the forest. Historically, Hawaiian canoe makers revered these birds because any tree visited by them indicated that it was infested with insects.

All three species of ‘elepaios look similar and sing a squeaky song that sounds like their name. They mate for life and prefer to stay in the same area throughout their lives (up to 15 years). But, but there are differences. For example, this Kauai ‘elepaio is more grayish-brown than the other two, and its song is lower-pitched with fewer notes.

12. Oʻahu ʻElepaio

  • Latin name: Chasiempis ibidis
  • Conservative status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Rusty-colored with high-pitched call
  • Where they are found: Oahu
  • Length: 5.51 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.42 to 0.63 ounces (12 to 18 g)
  • Diet: Insects

Featuring the same traits as the Kauai ‘elepaio above, this species lives on the island of Oʻahu. It is also more of a rusty-brown color and has a higher-pitched song than any of the three ‘elepaio species.

13. Hawaiʻi ʻElepaio

  • Latin name: Chasiempis sandwichensis
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: White face
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi (Big Island)
  • Length: 5.51 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.42 to 0.63 ounces (12 to 18 g)
  • Diet: Insects

What sets this ‘elepaio apart from its two cousin species is a white face and medium-pitched call that sounds like its name. Also, it is restricted to Hawaiʻi (the Big Island). Like the other ‘elepaios, this songbird is threatened by diseases such as fowlpox and avian malaria as well as the predation of chicks, eggs, and females by rats.

14. Millerbird

  • Latin name: Acrocephalus familiaris
  • Conservative status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: One of a kind in Nihoa
  • Where they are found: Nihoa and Laysan Island (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands)
  • Length: 5 inches (12.7 cm)
  • Weight: 0.65 ounces (18.42 g)
  • Diet: Insects

This little tan and brown, Old World warbler lives in dense, shrubby ground cover on the small island of Nihoa, forming long-term pair bonds and guarding the same territory for many years. It is the only one of its kind to have inhabited the area. A relative species on the island of Laysan was recently recovered after nearly going extinct.

15. ‘Ōma’o

  • Latin name: Myadestes obscurus
  • Conservative status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Quivering wings
  • Where they are found: Big Island
  • Length: 6.69 inches (17 cm)
  • Weight: 1.30 to 1.51 ounces (37 to 43 g)
  • Diet: Fruits, insects, earthworms, and snails

Also known as the Hawaiian thrush, the ʻōmaʻo is a small solitaire thrush of drab, olive-green and gray plumage that primarily lives in the rainforests on the Big Island. It is one of the last two remaining native thrushes in Hawaii. (The other species is the puaiohi.)

An omnivore, it plays an important role in spreading native plant seeds throughout its territory. You can distinguish the ʻōmaʻo by its many calls that include a “whipper-weet” and a frog-like croak. It also has a peculiar habit of quivering its wings when perched.

16. Puaiohi

  • Latin name: Myadestes palmeri
  • Conservative status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Spotted plumage
  • Where they are found: Kauaʻi
  • Length: 6.69 inches (17 cm)
  • Weight: 1.30 to 1.51 ounces (37 to 43 g)
  • Diet: Fruits, insects, snails

If you ever hope to see the puaiohi, you’ll need to visit the Alakaʻi Wilderness Preserve on the island of Kaua‘i where it is protected. Together with the ʻōmaʻo above, it is the last of the remaining native thrush birds of Hawaii. It has the same colors as the ʻōmaʻo except that the puaiohi is heavily spotted. Its name comes from the high-pitched call that males make at twilight.

17. ʻAkikiki

  • Latin name: Oreomystis bairdi
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Lives in high-elevated rainforests
  • Where they are found: Kauaʻi
  • Length: 5.11 inches (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.42 to 0.59 ounces (12 to 17 g)
  • Diet: Arthropods

Getting a sight of the ʻakikiki requires climbing to the highest elevations in the rainforests of the Alakaʻi Wilderness Preserve or the Kokeʻe State Park on the island of Kauaʻi. This grayish-olive brown honeycreeper likes to forage in pairs or family groups by hopping around branches and tree trunks snatching up a variety of insects. The ʻakikiki’s population has been seriously reduced by habitat deforestation, invasive plants, avian malaria, and rats.

18. Oʻahu ʻAlauahio

  • Latin name: Paroreomyza maculata
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Specialized tongue
  • Where they are found: Oahu
  • Length: 4 inches (10.16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.46 ounces (13.04 g)
  • Diet: Earthworms, snails, and insects

Named after the island it inhabits, this yellow-green finch-like honeycreeper is pretty clever at removing tree bark with its blue bill to catch hidden insects with its specialized tongue. Unfortunately, it may be facing extinction due to habitat loss, avian malaria, and invasive plants.

19. Maui ‘Alauahio

  • Latin name: Paroreomyza montana
  • Conservation status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Offspring feed their mother
  • Where they are found: Maui
  • Length: 4 inches (10.16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.46 ounces (13.04 g)
  • Diet: Insects, snails, and grubs

A bright yellow creeper living on Maui within the Haleakalā National Park, the alauahio can be heard making a “cheep” sound as it searches along tree bark or through twigs and lichen for insects and grubs. These birds really know how to respect their mothers. Offspring from previous clutches (up to nearly 2 years old) will stay near their mother and help feed her and her new nestlings.

20. Palila

  • Latin name: Loxioides bailleui
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Eat seeds highly toxic to other small animals
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi (the Big Island)
  • Length: 6 to 7.5 inches (15 to 19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.3 ounces (36.85 g)
  • Diet: Naio berries, moth larvae, and the unripe seeds, leaves, and flowers of the māmane plant

This colorful honeycreeper may live on the Big Island, but it can only be found in a small habitat where its survival depends on the seeds and flowers of the mamane tree. What’s even more interesting is that the immature seeds of this tree contain a toxin that would normally kill other small mammals while the adult palila is unaffected. During periods of drought when the mamane seed is scarce, the palila will not breed.

21. Laysan Finch

  • Latin name: Telespiza cantans
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Will eat carrion to survive
  • Where they are found: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
  • Length: 7.48 inches (19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.2 ounces (34 g)
  • Diet: Fruit, seeds, small insects, seabird eggs, and carrion

Endemic to the island of Laysan, this large honeycreeper is a lovely sight. The male is bright yellow while the female is paler with heavy brown streaking. Although categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, this species knows how to do what it must to survive. Even though it primarily eats seeds, fruits and insects, it will feed on the carrion of Hawaiian monk seals and seabirds when conditions cause food to be scarce.

22. Nihoa Finch

  • Latin name: Telespiza ultima
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Melodious song
  • Where they are found: Island of Nihoa
  • Length: 6 inches (2.36 cm)
  • Weight: 0.86 ounces (24.38 g)
  • Diet: Seeds, flowers, small arthropods, and seabird eggs

Similar to the Laysan finch, the Nihoa finch is smaller and boasts a broad, gray band between the neck and back in contrast to its otherwise yellow plumage. Living only on the island of Nihoa, this little bird has a melodious song that includes warbles, whistles, and trills. Nihoa finches prefer open vegetation, nests in the holes of rocky crags, and lays three eggs per clutch.

23. ʻAkohekohe

  • Latin name: Palmeria dolei
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: White-gold crest
  • Where they are found: Maui
  • Length: 6.5 to 7 inches (17 to 18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.5 to 2 ounces (40 to 60 g)
  • Diet: Nectar, fruit, insects

Also known as the crested honeycreeper, the ʻakohekohe is the fanciest of its kind, boasting a sweeping, white-gold crest, bright orange eye patches, and napes, and dark gray plumage laced with silver flecks. It is territorial of ‘ōhi‘a trees because it loves the nectar. It is known to run and do acrobatics across the treetops, moving from blossom to blossom.

24. ʻApapane

  • Latin name: Himatione sanguinea
  • Conservative status: Least Concern
  • Unique feature: Crimson plumage
  • Where they are found: Maui, the Big Island, Lanaʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi
  • Length: 5.1 inches (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.51 to 0.56 ounces (14.4 to 16 g)
  • Diet: Nectar, insects, caterpillars

Closely related to the ʻakohekohe, the ʻapapane is a crimson beauty that is steeped in Hawaiian culture and folklore. Its feathers were once used to decorate the headdresses, leis, and cloaks of nobility. The ʻapapane is especially fond of the nectar from the ʻōhiʻa lehua flower and can be seen in small flocks maneuvering across the treetops from one red blossom to another. The males are passionate singers and can sing up to six different calls during times of courtship, incubation and foraging.

25. ʻIʻiwi

  • Latin name: Drepanis coccinea
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: An icon of Hawaii
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu and Molokaʻi
  • Length: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.60 ounces (17 g)
  • Diet: Nectar, small arthropods

Another colorful bird used in Hawaiian tradition and song, the ʻiʻiwi is scarlet and black with a long, curved red beak. It often hovers over Hawaiian lobelia flowers while drinking the nectar much like a hummingbird. If it can’t find any nectar, it will eat insects, butterflies, and small crustaceans. One of the most common native birds of Hawaii, the ʻiʻiwi can often be seen in large colonies on the islands of the Big Island, Maui, and Kauaʻi.

26. Maui Parrotbill

  • Latin name: Pseudonestor xanthophrys
  • Conservative status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Specialized bill for extracting larvae
  • Where they are found: Maui
  • Length: 5.5 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.71 to 0.88 ounces (20 to 25 g)
  • Diet: Insects, beetle larvae and moth pupae

With a population of only about 500 individuals living in Maui within a 19-square-mile area in a high-elevated forest, this yellow bird features a specialized beak that it uses to break open branches and pluck out insect larvae, its favorite delicacy. Non-native mosquitoes and animals are the causes of the Maui parrotbill’s decline.

27. ʻAkiapolaʻau

  • Latin name: Hemignathus wilsoni
  • Conservation status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Long, downward-curved bill
  • Where they are found: Hawaii (the Big Island)
  • Length: 5.5 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.99 ounces (28 g)
  • Diet: Insects, insect larvae, nectar

Another pretty yellow bird with a special beak, the ʻakiapolaʻau lives in high-altitude forests on the Big Island. It uses its long, downward-curved bill like a woodpecker to drum through tree bark in search of insects and larvae. Due to its low reproductive rate (only one egg per clutch), habitat loss, avian diseases, invasive plants, and cats, the ʻakiapolaʻau faces extinction if conservation efforts are not successful.

28. Anianiau

  • Latin name: Magumma parva
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Special nectar-drinking tongue
  • Where they are found: Kauai
  • Length: 3.9 inches (10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.35 ounces (10 g)
  • Diet: Nectar and arthropods

The smallest of all the Hawaiian honeycreepers, the anianiau is a bright yellow bird with a specialized tongue that it rolls up into the shape of a straw to suck up nectar. Population numbers for this bird were decimated after the introduction of mosquitoes to Hawaii. Surviving in the wet, highland forests of Kauai, the anianiau faces the same threats as many other native birds of Hawaii that include avian diseases, habitat loss, invasive plants, climate change, and predators such as cats and rats.

29. Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi

  • Latin name: Chlorodrepanis virens
  • Conservation status: Least Concern
  • Unique feature: Resistant to avian malaria
  • Where they are found: Big Island, Maui, and Molokaʻi
  • Length: 4.5 inches (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.47 ounces (13.32 g)
  • Diet: Nectar and insects

A pudgy, yellow honeycreeper, the Hawaiʻi ʻAmakihi needs to let all the other native forest birds of Hawaii know its secret for survival. Living in all types of habitats on the Big Island, Maui, and Molokaʻi, this bird is one of the least affected by habitat change. Equally or more important, some researchers think this bird is developing a resistance to avian malaria. Perhaps the fast reproductive rate of the Hawaiʻi ʻamakihi also preserves this bird’s future. The female lays one egg that hatches after two weeks. After only another 2 or 3 weeks, the chick is ready to fly on its own.

30. Oʻahu ʻAmakihi

  • Latin name: Chlorodrepanis flava
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Green upperparts
  • Where they are found: Oʻahu
  • Length: 4.5 inches (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.47 ounces (13.32 g)
  • Diet: Nectar and insects

Endemic to the island of Oʻahu, this ʻamakihi shares many similar traits with its relative above except that it features greenish upperparts. Preferring forest and woodlands, it can be seen in the Honouliuli Preserve and the Wa'ahila Ridge State Recreation Area.

31. Kauaʻi ʻAmakihi

  • Latin name: Chlorodrepanis stejnegeri
  • Conservative status: Vulnerable
  • Unique feature: Yellow-green plumage
  • Where they are found: Kaua’i
  • Length: 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.47 ounces (13.32 g)
  • Diet: Nectar and insects

Limited to the island of Kaua’i, this ʻamakihi is larger than its Big Island and Oʻahu relatives. It’s also yellow-greenish with black lores and has a sickle-shaped beak that is larger than its cousins. This species faces threats common to other native birds of Hawaii but seems to be less affected.

32. Hawaiʻi Creeper

  • Latin name: Loxops mana
  • Conservation status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Sings a “sweet” song
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi (the Big Island)
  • Length: 4.5 inches (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.47 ounces (13.32 g)
  • Diet: Insects and nectar

This grayish-green bird is called a creeper because it creeps along trees searching for insects. When the koa trees are in bloom, it drinks the nectar from the flowers. When it rises up in flight, it sings with a “sweet” song and then lets out a trill as it descends. Its population was once widespread across the Hawaiian archipelago but is now found only on the Big Island.

33. ‘Akeke‘e

  • Latin name: Loxops caeruleirostris
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  • Unique feature: Crossed bill
  • Where they are found: Kauaʻi
  • Size: Unavailable
  • Diet: Insects and nectar

This greenish-yellow honeycreeper with a black eye mask is most noted for its crossed-bill that it uses to pry open the green buds of the ōhi‘a flower in search of insects. It also drinks the nectar when the flowers have bloomed. The ‘akeke‘e sings throughout the day with high-pitched trills as well as soft, whisper songs.

34. Hawaiʻi ʻAkepa

  • Latin name: Loxops coccineus
  • Conservation status: Endangered
  • Unique feature: Hawaii’s only cavity-nesting bird
  • Where they are found: Hawaiʻi (the Big Island)
  • Length: 4 inches (10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.35 ounces (10 g)
  • Diet: Nectar, spiders and other invertebrates

A bright orange bird (the female is dusty green) found only on the Big Island, this akepa is different from many other birds of Hawaii. It’s the only bird in the state that nests in tree cavities. Because of this, its survival depends on old tree growth which is diminishing due to development. This bird species also mates for life.

Native Hawaiian Bird Calls

Watch on YouTube

Hawaiian birds

Extinct Birds in Hawaii: 30 Species

  1. Hawaiian crow, Corvus hawaiiensis: Extinct in the wild
  2. Kāmaʻo, Myadestes myadestinus
  3. ʻĀmaui, Myadestes woahensis
  4. Olomaʻo, Myadestes lanaiensis
  5. Kauaʻi ʻōʻō, Moho braccatus
  6. Oʻahu ʻōʻō, Moho apicalis
  7. Bishop's ʻōʻō, Moho bishopi
  8. Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō, Moho nobilis
  9. Kioea, Chaetoptila angustipluma
  10. Poʻouli, Melamprosops phaeosoma
  11. Kākāwahie, Paroreomyza flammea
  12. Kona grosbeak, Chloridops kona
  13. Lesser koa-finch, Rhodacanthis flaviceps
  14. Greater koa-finch, Rhodacanthis palmeri
  15. ʻUla-ʻai-hawane, Ciridops anna
  16. Laysan honeycreeper, Himatione fraithii
  17. Hawaiʻi mamo, Drepanis pacifica
  18. Black mamo, Drepanis funerea
  19. ʻŌʻū, Psittirostra psittacea
  20. Lāna'i hookbill, Dysmorodrepanis munroi
  21. Kauaʻi nukupuʻu Hemignathus hanapepe
  22. Oʻahu nukupuʻu Hemignathus lucidus
  23. Maui nukupuʻu Hemignathus affinis
  24. Lesser ʻakialoa, Akialoa obscura
  25. Kauaʻi ʻakialoa, Akialoa stejnegeri
  26. Oʻahu ʻakialoa, Akialoa ellisiana
  27. Maui Nui ‘akialoa, Akialoa lanaiensis
  28. Greater ʻamakihi, Viridonia sagittirostris
  29. Oʻahu ʻakepa, Loxops wolstenholmei
  30. Maui ʻakepa, Loxops ochraceus

Documentary of Hawaii's Unique Birds

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Native Hawaiian birds

“Nene Crossing” road sign in Maui, Hawaii.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts about these endemic birds of Hawaii? Were you surprised by some of these species? Are you as saddened by their decline as we are? Let us know in the comments!

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Meet the Author

Drew Haines

Drew Haines is an animal enthusiast, travel writer, and content marketer. She loves to share her passion through her writing. She is the founder and owner of EverywhereWild Media, EverywhereWild, and co-founder and owner of JustBirding. She also guest blogs on LatinRootsTravel and GringosAbroad. She lived in Ecuador for 6 years and explored the Galapagos Islands. Currently based in N.S., Canada.

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