Kauai has so much beautiful wildlife! Find out all the best spots for birding on Kauai, keep scrolling down for all the info!!

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Hawaii is notorious for being a beautiful place.

However, when you have a gorgeous Island like this, you are also bound to have some wildlife that is worth checking out.

Birding on Kauai is a real thing and many people enjoy doing it. Here is your ultimate guide to birding on Kauai.

You will find that the birds on Kauai are endemic.

This simply means these birds are natural to a specific place.

Everyone from experts to casual bird watchers enjoying seeing the variety of birds on the Island.

You’ll enjoy watching the birds, but also listening to them! The Ultimate Guide to Birding on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Heading to Kauai and want to see some Hawaii wildlife? Find out the best places to go birding on Kauai

Birding on Kauai: Types of Kauai Birds and Where to See Them

The interesting part of birding on Kauai is that there is not only one type of bird to see, but there are many.

Here is a list of the type of birds and where you may be able to see them.

Open Country Birds

    • Waimea Canyon Road
    • Hanapepe
    • Lihu`e Airport
    • Princeville

Marine Birds

    • Na Pali Coast
    • Waimea Canyon
    • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Forest Birds

    • Koke`e State Park/Pihea Trail
    • Hule`ia National Wildlife Refuge
    • Pu`u o Kila Overlook
    • Kalalau Lookout

Urban Birds

    • Lihu`e
    • Koloa
    • Princeville
    • Kukiolono Park

Wetland Birds

    • Koloa Reservoirs
    • Hanapepe Salt Ponds
    • Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands
    • Mana Wetlands
    • Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
    • Waita Reservoir
    • Opaeka`a Valley/Wailua River
    • Menehune Fishponds (Alakoko)

Best Spots for Birding on Kauai

Now that you know where you can see some of the different variety of birds on Kauai, it’s important to know some of the top bird-watching spots.

Kōkeʻe State Park

Many amateurs and rookie bird watchers will tell you that Kōkeʻe State Park is a top bird-watching spot.

The Ultimate Guide to Birding on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kokee State Park is a popular place on Kauai for bird watching
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

The thing that makes this spot unique are the trails. Because of its high elevation, bird-watching is really easy in this park.

At 4,000 feet of elevation, you can see birds such as…

    • ‘Apapane
    • Kauaʻi akepa
    • ʻAnianiau, pueo (Hawaiian owl)
    • ʻElepaio
    • ‘Amakihi,
    • ʻiʻiwi and the Kauaʻi Creeper

These are all birds of Hawaii Kauai that you have a good chance of seeing, while at this state park.

Kīlauea National Wildlife Refuge

When it comes to birding, sometimes the best place to head is a wildlife refuge.

The Ultimate Guide to Birding on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kilauea Wildlife Refuge is a poplar place for Kauai bird watching
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

The Kīlauea National Wildlife Refuge is one of those places that you can easily view seabirds on the Island.

Not only are there regular species of birds here, but you will also find migratory seabirds.

Here are some of the birds that you may be able to see here…

    • Kōloa
    • Nēnē
    • Newell’s shearwaters
    • Wandering tattlers
    • Ruddy turnstones
    • Red-footed boobies
    • Laysan
    • Black-footed albatross
    • Brown boobies
    • Red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds
    • Great frigatebirds
    • Wedge-tailed shearwaters

Shew, that’s a lot of amazing birds that you could possibly see. This wildlife refuge center is open from Tuesday through Saturday.

Wailua River Valley

Another top birding spot in Kauai is the Wailua River Valley.

The Ultimate Guide to Birding on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Wailua River Valley is a great Kauai birding spot
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

If you love to be outdoors and want to see those birds up close, this may be the place for you.

Known as the only navigable river on the Island, this is ample opportunity to see birds like…

    • Kōloa
    • ‘Alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot)
    • Japanese bush-warblers
    • Meadowlarks
    • Two thrush species

Top Birding Tours on Kauai

Not everyone knows about birding in Kauai.

There is a lot that goes into birding, from where to go to what to look for.

Sometimes it’s nice to just go on a birding tour. There is no shortage of birding tours in Kauai.

Check out some of the top birding tours in Kauai.


This is an interesting concept that not every Island has. However, Kauai is special.

This Island has something called Birdingpal.

Some of these tours are already set up, but there are professional bird guides that will take you on a birding outing.

You should expect to pay a fee for the professional bird guide.

Hire a Bird Guide

Because there are so many birds in Kauai, hiring someone that knows what they are doing is a smart move.

If you’d like to hire a guide, you can look through this list of guides for birding on Kauai.

Birds of Kauai Tours

Interested in going with a well-known guide?

Meet Jim. He takes small groups of 4 or less on birding tours.

He has the proper vehicle to help with trailheads and has the experience it takes to see some of the top birds on the Island. You can contact him for more details.

Why Would Someone Want to Go Birding on Kauai?The Ultimate Guide to Birding on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: You can find all kinds of birds on Kauai

Something to understand about Kauai is that it is beautiful.

There are birds that you can’t see anywhere else in the world.

They are full of color, make unique sounds, and are something that you will be in awe of when you get closer.

Do You Need to Have Any Experience to Go Birding?

Keep in mind that you can go birding on your own, but you may not know what you are looking at.

If you are wanting to learn as much as you can about the birds on the Island, going on a bird tour is a good idea.

The first time you go birding, it’s recommended that you go with a birding specialist, otherwise, take a bird tour.

What Should I Take With Me When Birding on Kauai?

When it comes to birding on Kauai, you may be wondering what to take with you.

You are going to want a nice pair of binoculars to help you see.

Also a field guide, if you can get your hands on it. A field guide will help you know what kinds of birds you are looking at.

A birding vest is also a good investment, so you have something to hold all of your items.

And be sure to pack:

Remember that when birding, you don’t want to make too much noise, so you do need to limit what you bring in a sense.

Have you been birding on Kauai? I’d love to hear all about your experience.

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