From the heights of mighty volcanoes to the roaring surf zones of the lava-strewn coast, from the arid highlands to the depths of lush tropical rainforests, the Big Island of Hawai‘i is home to an incredible array of birds. Thanks to the Coast to Coast Birding Trail, bird enthusiasts have a menagerie of feathered friends to visit: migratory seabirds, shorebirds, forest birds from five different continents, and native species like honeycreepers, short-eared owls, thrushes (`ōma’o), and flycatchers (`elepaio). This September, the 3rd annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds is the ideal way to observe and learn about these birds in their island habitats, all while meeting fellow bird-lovers and contributing to the charitable cause that supports the birding trail and the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center.
The Festival is One of the Top Big Island Events
Held across the Big Island from September 14-17, 2018, one of our favorite Big Island events is headquartered at the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay which boasts incredible views of the picturesque bay and the shorebirds that call it home. The fun-filled, feather-friendly events kick off with an opening ceremony and film festival followed by a series of educational lectures, informal Q&A’s, and movie screenings over the next four days. It is also the base for the highlight of the weekend: guided small-group birdwatching tours to the island’s unique ecosystems and the incredible diversity of birds they support. Choose from early morning or sunset tours of the Hakalau Forest, the Kona Coast, the jungles and vents of Volcanoes National Park, or focus on the series of photography-inspired tours.
Tickets for individual events at the Hawaii Island Festival of Birds are available online, with early-bird discounts (get it?) available for many if purchased before July 31. The walking tours are kept small by design, so be sure to book early. Guests are welcome to undertake self-guided walking tours with the aid of maps and trail guides, but are discouraged from doing so at the same time as the organized hikes.