Naturalist Journeys, LLC - Small Group Birding and Natural History Tours

Hawaii Birding and Nature Tour
With field guide author and illustrator, Doug Pratt
February 13-25, 2014, with a 2-night Maui Extension: Haleakala, Whales and Endemic Birds Feb. 25-27

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Birding Oahu’s CoastJourney to the mid-Pacific Ocean, where the idyllic islands of Hawaii offer breathtaking scenery, impressive seabird colonies, fascinating endemic birds and plants, rich Polynesian culture, and a chance to see the world's most active volcano. On our top-rated Hawaii birding and nature tour, you will quickly find out that the islands hold more than golden beaches, swaying palm trees and luxury resorts.  It is a land rich in history with a great variety of landscapes including snow-covered mountains, luxuriant forests, extensive lava flows and semi-deserts, lovely beaches, cascading waterfalls, pounding surf and calm turquoise waters.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, IiwiBest of all, Naturalist Journey’s Hawaii birding and nature tour will be led by Doug Pratt who is a world-renowned authority on Hawaii.  He is author of The Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific, The Hawaiian Honeycreepers, Pocket Guide to Hawai‘i’s Birds, Pocket Guide to Hawai‘i’s Trees and Shrubs, Enjoying Birds and Other Wildlife in Hawaii, compiler of Voices of Hawai‘i’s Birds, and illustrator of Hawaii:  the Ecotraveller’s Wildlife Guide. You might say he wrote the book onHawaii!  Doug is also an authority on island biogeography and evolution, and is well-versed in the human culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands.  This is not just a birding tour, although we have a good chance of seeing all the birds that anyone can reasonably expect on the islands we visit.  This is a tried and true itinerary, with something for everyone. Book now – this special tour is limited to 8 participants and Doug.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Maui Forest TrailThe Hawaiian archipelago consists of over 120 seamounts, islands and atolls spreading across the Pacific Ocean from Midway in the northwest to Hawaii in the southeast. We will visit three of the seven inhabited islands: Oahu, Hawaii (the Big Island), and Kauai. A fourth island, Maui, is featured on our tour extension. Learn the history of the islands from their development over a 'hot spot' in the Pacific Plate, to the heavily forested and sculpted landscapes we see today. Explore how plants and animals colonized and evolved into many species.  As we visit historic and pre-historic sites, we witness the changes brought by man, starting with the influences of the early Polynesians over 1,000 years ago, through the arrival of Europeans with Captain Cook 200 years ago, to the vast and ongoing changes wrought by modern life. Hawaii has become the poster child for conservation efforts worldwide, and our tour will highlight what has been lost, what has been learned, and what is planned for the future.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Kilauea PointOur journey begins in Oahu and ends in Kauai. We then move to Hawaii, the youngest and largest of the islands, where several recently active volcanoes have produced impressive lava flows. We have five nights on this island; three in Kona, whence we will journey with Hawaii Forest & Trail to the Saddle Road and Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and two nights at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where we have a chance to see an active lava flow and to learn about the earliest stages of island formation.  Finally we will travel to Kauai, the 'Garden Isle', one of the world’s lushest and most beautiful tropical islands, where Jurassic Park was filmed. We have four nights on this wildest of the 4 main islands, a treasure of biodiversity. We'll walk the trails of Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Haleakala NPAlakai Swamp and Pihea, visit incredible Waimea Canyon, enjoy a boat trip along the scenic Na Pali Coast and out to Lehua Islet where we have the opportunity to snorkel and swim with monk seals, and visit Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge to see nesting Red-footed Boobies and other seabirds.

For those who wish to visit Maui on this Hawaii birding and nature tour, we offer an optional 3-night extension. In Maui, the second largest island, we visit Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge to look for migrant shorebirds and waterfowl, the spectacular aquarium at the Maui Ocean Center, and the dormant volcano Haleakala. We’ll take a quiet-water boat trip to watch Humpback Whales, and visit Haleakala National Park.



Hawaii Birding and Nature, Red-footed Booby in flightThurs., Feb 13 Arrival in Oahu
Please plan to arrive by 2:00 pm so we can settle into our accommodations on the beach, and have some time to watch birds at Kapiolani Park, where beautiful, delicate Fairy-Terns (White Terns) lay their single eggs on branches of large spreading trees. This lovely park lies at the base of Diamond Head, an eroded volcanic crater that towers over Waikiki Beach. This nearly 300-acre park was a gift from King Kalakaua to Honolulu, and in addition to fairy-terns we should find Pacific Golden Plover, Red-whiskered and Red-vented Bulbul, Yellow-fronted Canary, Common Waxbill, and Java Sparrow. If you must arrive later, there are shuttles (additional cost) to the hotel; we will explain your options for those upon Hawaii Birding and Nature Tour View of Oahurequest.  We share dinner at the hotel’s seaside restaurant.
Accommodations at the New Otani Hotel, Honolulu (D)

Please note, if you wish to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, we recommend you arrive a day ahead. We do not include this site as lines can be long and timing is unpredictable, but it’s certainly worth the effort for its World War II historical significance.

Fri., Feb. 14 Bird Specialties of Oahu / Hike to Kaena Point
Today we explore a new area on Oahu for Naturalist Journeys Hawaii birding and nature tours, Aiea State Park. Doug is excited about this location, a beautiful spot in the Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Oahu Elepaiomountains above Pearl Harbor, currently the best spot on the island for forest birds as it offers sightings of both of the island’s endemics (Oahu Elepaio and Oahu Amakihi), plus brilliant red Apapanes. We should encounter introduced but striking Red-billed Leiothrix and we have a longshot chance at seeing a Mariana Swiftlets, which we have never tried for on our tours before.

Around Pearl Harbor below Aiea, we will visit two wetland sites (Pouhala Marsh and Honouliuli Unit of Pearl Harbor NWR) where we look for wintering shorebirds, waterfowl, and ibises, as well as resident freshwater birds, Hawaiian Stilts, Hawaiian Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Red-billed LeiothrixCoots, and Common Gallinules. We will also see ducks that look like Hawaiian Ducks, but all carry genes from hybridization with domestic Mallards.

From there we drive to the end of the road at the island’s northwestern tip, and hike a 4-mile roundtrip to Kaena Point. Thanks to recently installed predator-proof fencing, Laysan Albatrosses, which show no fear of humans, now nest here in good numbers. It’s the closest thing to a Midway Atoll experience one can have among the main islands. Time and traffic permitting, we will end the day at Manana Trail to view now-established Red-crowned Parrots returning to their roost.

Dinner may be en route back to our hotel, or close to our hotel, depending on if we visit the parrots. Celebrate Valentine’s Day – Doug will pick a fun restaurant for this occasion.
Accommodations at the New Otani Hotel, Waikiki (L,D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Hawaiian Stilts

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Laysan Albatrosses on nesting grounds

Sat., Feb. 15 James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge /Leeward Oahu
Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Bristle-thighed CurlewAt the northern end of the island, we will scan ponds of the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and vicinity. The refuge was established to save the settling ponds of a now defunct sugar mill, which had provided excellent water bird habitat. The refuge encloses several man-made ponds and impoundments managed for the aforementioned endemic wetland species. It also provides essential habitat for wintering migratory birds such as Bristle-thighed Curlews, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, and other shorebirds; waterfowl such as Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, American and Eurasian wigeons, Blue-winged and Green-winged teal, and Garganey; and possibly a few gulls and terns.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, 'Akiapola'auAfterwards we will drive the spectacularly scenic windward shore of Oahu.  Along the way, we will stop at several places to view offshore seabirds and wetland birds, including:  Laie Point, Kaelepulu Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Hamakua Marsh, Manana Island, and Halona Blowhole. Possible species include Hawaiian Petrels (rare), Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Gray-backed Terns, and Sooty Terns.

We return to our accommodations, with dinner at your leisure.  You can eat at the hotel, or at one of several other restaurants nearby.
Accommodations at the New Otani Hotel, Waikiki (L)

Please note: While we’ve timed this with hopes of a visit to the refuge before it closes to the public for the birds’ spring breeding season. Recent budget cuts have also curtailed visitation. Either way, some ponds are visible from afar and we can find most species in adjacent areas.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Fairy TernSun., Feb 16 Early birding Kapiolani Park / Bishop Museum / Flights to the Big Island of Hawaii
We check out of our hotel, and have breakfast at a popular local coffeehouse. We make a sightseeing drive through downtown Honolulu to see the State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Aloha Tower, and the iconic statue of Kamehameha I.  We will then drive up Makiki Heights in search of Rose-ringed Parakeets on our way to the Bishop Museum, which provides excellent background on Hawaii’s rich history and cultural foundations. We will spend the rest of the morning and depending on our flight time, have lunch locally, or at the airport.

After lunch, we take a flight to the Kona side of the big island of Hawaii, where we enjoy a short hike into Aimakapa Pond in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park between the airport and our hotel. Many of the same pond birds as at Kealia may be present, as well as Green Sea Turtles on the beach.  Dinner tonight is at a nearby local brewpub across from our hotel, informal and fun.
Accommodations at Kona Seaside Hotel (L,D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, AkeMon. Feb. 17 Hawaii / Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Today we enjoy an excursion to Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern, windward slope of Mauna Kea with local experts from Hawaii Forest & Trail (HF&T).  This wilderness reserve was set aside in 1985 to protect endangered forest birds and their rainforest habitat, the first such refuge in the system. It harbors a superb avifauna, rich in species and high in density.  Walking here is a joy, giving one a hopeful feeling about the future of Hawaii’s birds. As many as six endangered species occur here in some of the finest Koa and ‘Ohi‘a forest in the state. We hope to see Hawaiian Hawks, a variety of game birds, Short-eared Owls, Nenes, Oma‘os, Hawai‘i 'Elepaios, ‘Apapanes, 'I'iwis, Hawai‘i 'Amakihis, Hawai‘i 'Akepas, Hawai‘i Creepers, 'Akiapola'aus (the Rube Goldberg woodpecker!), and possibly Hawaiian Hoary Bats. 

Upon our return, dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.  
Accommodations at Kona Seaside Hotel (L,D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, PalilaTue. Feb. 18 Hawaii Forest and Trail:  Dry Forests, Rainforests and Ranches
Today we continue our explorations of the Big Island with HF&T, first visiting a native dry mamane-naio forest locality that is the heart of the range of the endangered Palila, a honeycreeper that still looks much like the finch ancestor of the group.  The Palila is adapted for eating the green seeds of the mamane tree, a legume with showy yellow flowers.   This bird is endangered and in decline, threatened by its very tight fit to a plant with limited distribution. There are two other endemics of note to be found here: the Hawaii Amakihi, and the local species of the Hawaii Elepaio (notice the white feathering on its head).

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Hawaii ElepaioWe stop at a rich kipuka near Saddle Road to look for endemics, in forests that retain native Koa and Ohia trees. If we’ve missed anything the day previous, this is a good second chance to find it.

We also explore the ranch lands of South Kohala, where we will look for a variety of game birds (3 francolins, 2 pheasants, 2 quails, turkey, and even a sandgrouse have been introduced), Nenes, Hawaiian Hawks, Short-eared Owls, several waxbills and finches, including beautiful Red Avadavats. This open landscape is a surprise to many and views out to the ocean and fine.

For dinner, you have your choice of local eateries close to our hotel.
Accommodations at Kona Seaside Hotel (L) Hawaii Birding Nature Tour NPS: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

Wed. Feb. 19 Hawaii:  Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Today we loop around the southern end of the Big Island, a fantastic drive with much to see.  We drive south along the coast, stopping first at Bay View Coffee Farms where we will see how Kona coffee is grown and processed. We then visit Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (=taboo, an ancient prohibition) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or "pu`uhonua,” undergo a purification rite, and eventually return to society.  The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the pu`uhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs. Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Watching Sea TurtlesThis 182-acre park, established in 1961, includes a complex of archeological sites including: temple platforms, royal fishponds, and coastal village sites.

After a picnic lunch, we visit South Point, passing through grazing lands to the southern-most point in the United States.  Enjoy a chance to stand at the edge of the world, watching the waves crash over lava rocks as we look for passing seabirds. Further along, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is one of the most picturesque conceivable, with pulverized lava “sand” and tall, leaning coconut palms.  It is an important nesting area for Green Sea Turtles which are usually easy to spot as they scour the shoreline rocks for algae. As we leave the shoreline, we climb upward eventually reaching Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Dinner tonight is at a favorite local restaurant, a real treat! 
Accommodations at the Volcano House, Volcanoes NP (L,D)

Thu. Feb. 20 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983, and geologists think the current eruption could last many more years. The landscape it creates is unlike any other on Earth. Visitors come to witness the fiery stream of lava as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. See first-hand the power of forces at work and learn more about its significance to native Hawaiians. 

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Nene with chickThe current eruption has added over 500 acres to the island of Hawaii. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park protects both Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes. Mauna Loa is the most massive mountain on earth and taller than Everest, if measured from its base on the ocean floor.  Kilauea, in addition to the fantastic and bizarre lava formations, craters, pits, and lava tubes, supports habitats from lush rain forests to stark acid-rain deserts.

Our exploration of the park will include the Visitor Center, Volcano Art Center, Jaggar Museum and Volcano Observatory, Halema'uma'u Crater, Kipuka Puaulu, Chain of Craters Road, and Holei Sea Arches.  We will maintain some flexibility in order to take advantage of any red lava that may be visible during our visit.  Wildlife may include Nenes, Apapanes, Oma‘os, Hawaiian Hawks, White-tailed Tropicbirds around Kilauea’s caldera and Black Noddies along the sea cliffs.

Dinner is at your leisure, with several choices of places to eat, from Thai to fine dining, to picking up items at the local deli to enjoy at your leisure.
Accommodations at the Volcano House, Volcanoes NP (L)

Fri., Feb. 21 Morning Drive to Hilo with Sightseeing / Flight to Kaua’i.
We begin the day with an early morning walk through Thurston Lava Tube. Learn more about the fossil history of species found on the islands through work done in such cave environments. There is lush vegetation along the trail, and bird song echoes at dawn.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, AmakihiWe then check out of our hotel and head down the road, descending in elevation to Hilo, where we will visit Loko Waka and Waiakea ponds, both noted for turning up rare waterfowl.  We catch a flight from Hilo airport to Lihue on Kaua‘i.  Depending on the flight time, plan on getting your lunch at the airport, or at a local food-court type restaurant.

Kauai is a naturalist's dream, where one can find many endemic plant and birds’ species against a background of stunning landscapes.  We hope to arrive in time to enjoy the pool and sunset, followed by dinner.
Accommodations on Kauai (D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, AkekeSat., Feb. 22 Kauai: Koke’e and Waimea Canyon / Hike to Alakai Swamp with a Local Guide
Kauai, the smallest of the islands we visit, once retained the richest native flora and fauna of the large islands, but over the past decade has seen a dramatic decline as avian disease-bearing mosquitoes have reached the highest elevations.  Birding is simply getting more and difficult each year we visit – highlighting that the time is now to time your visit. We hope to schedule David Kuhn, a friend and colleague of Doug’s, to join us today as the local expert for Alakai Swamp. If anyone can find the rare Akekees, Akikikis, and Puaiohis, he can.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour Waimea CanyonThe summit of Wai‘ale‘ale may be the wettest place on Earth, which feeds the so-called Alaka‘i “Swamp,” actually a montane rainforest, and then carves Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain called “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Les Beletsky, in the Ecotraveller's Wildlife Guide to Hawaii, says the beauty of this place as reason enough to make a trip to the islands, and Doug calls the view into Kalalau Valley the finest single landscape in the entire Pacific.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, AnianiauAmid the splendor, we will look for endemic birds such as ‘Anianiaus, Kaua‘i ‘Amakihis, and Kaua‘i ‘Elepaios, and plants such as the amazing ‘iliau, related to Maui’s silversword.  En route home, we should also see Short-eared Owls and White-tailed Tropicbirds soaring in Waimea Canyon, and wild goats on the cliffs. 

Lunch today is at a cafeteria with nice food, next door to the little Koke‘e Museum, where Red Junglefowl cavort on the lawn. You can select lunch to dine inside or outside, with the birds. We have a ways to drive back around the island, so we select a fun dinner spot en route home.
Accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriot Coconut Beach, Kapaa, on Kauai (D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Short-eared Owl

Sun., Feb. 23 Kauai / Boat Trip to Lehua Islet 
Those signing up for the optional seabird and snorkeling boat trip (additional cost, please sign-up upon registration) rise very early to drive to Port Allen on Kaua‘i‘s south Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Lehua Isletshore. We’ve scheduled the trip through seabird-rich waters aboard a large and stable catamaran.  Breakfast is on the boat.  Scenery on the boat tour is exceptional as well. We will see waterfalls and lush valleys and sea caves along the Na Pali Coast, then cross the channel to Lehua Islet off the north end of Ni‘ihau, the so-called Forbidden Isle.  Crossing the channel, we will look for Humpback Whales, Spinner Dolphins, Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Rough-toothed Dolphins, Brown, Masked, and Red-footed boobies, Brown and Black noddies, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Wedge-tailed, Sooty, Newell's and other shearwaters, Black-winged, Hawaiian, and Mottled petrels, and Band-rumped Storm-Petrels. 

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Monk SealWhen we arrive at Lehua, we will observe the nesting seabirds for a while, then the crew will assist and instruct us in snorkeling, so we can relax, float, and watch the comings and goings of the aquatic world. You will likely be greeted in the water by one of the resident Hawaiian Monk Seals or Green Sea Turtles, whose aquatic grace is amazing. After snorkeling, the crew will have a lunch waiting for us, and we will learn about the island, the people and history of Niihau and Kauai.   We'll return to port mid-afternoon, and the rest of the day will be available for optional activities to be decided at the time. 

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour Humpback WhalesIf a whale and seabird cruise is NOT your thing (conditions may be rough), you can enjoy a free day to relax at the hotel, or book an outing with local vendors for snorkeling or sightseeing.

Please indicate when you register, if you wish to the take the boat tour, additional cost is approximately $175, including two meals and boat staff gratuity.
Accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriot Coconut Beach, Kapaa, on Kauai (If on the boat, B,L) for others, meals at your leisure.  

Hawaii Birding Nature TourMon., Feb. 24 Kauai’s North Shore
This morning, enjoy leisurely visits to Wailua and Opaeka'a Falls, where picturesque cascades plunge down cliff faces into deep pools. We visit Wailua Reservoir and Keahua Arboretum, then head north to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, where Red-footed Boobies nest in trees and Laysan Albatrosses on the rugged clifftop surface. The refuge, established in 1985 to provide habitat for nesting seabirds, native coastal plants and a re-introduced population of Nenes, has become the island’s most popular visitor attraction.  Great Frigatebirds, Brown Boobies, and Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds add to the spectacular aerial show while Humpback Whales, Green Sea Turtles, Hawaiian Monk Seals (sometimes), and Spinner Dolphins can be seen in the water.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Brown NoddiesAfter tearing yourself away from the sea cliffs, picturesque lighthouse and pounding surf, enjoy lunch at a nice café near the refuge, close to some artisan shops. 

Nearby Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, our next stop, was established in 1972 to save the taro fields that provide habitat for native freshwater birds.  We will also look for wintering ducks and geese. Then it is on to the scenic coral sand beaches of Ha'ena State Park. Enjoy views of the spectacular Na Pali Coast while swimming and/or snorkeling before returning to our hotel.  On this day we also hope to find Hwameis, Western Meadowlarks, and Greater Necklaced Laughing-thrushes as we pass through lowland rainforest and pasturelands.  

Our final dinner en route home is at one of our favorite restaurants.
Accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriot Coconut Beach, Kapaa, on Kauai (L,D)


Hawaii Birding Nature TourTue., Feb. 25 Departures / Begin Optional Maui Extension
For those going on to the Maui extension, we will have an early departure from Kauai.  Others may choose later flights to connect to mainland flights, relaxing at the hotel or booking an outing if your flights are later in the day or evening.  Some of our past guests have booked a helicopter ride over the Na Pali Cliffs and describe it as spectacular.



Tues., Feb. 25  Kanaha Pond, Kealia Pond NWR / Sunset Whale-watching
Hawaii Birding Nature Tour Humpback WhalesIt’s a short flight to Maui, and on arrival we look for migratory shorebirds and ducks at Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary near the airport.  We also visit the excellent Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on the way to our accommodations.  After checking in, we will drive to Maalaea to take a sunset cruise with the Pacific Whale Foundation to observe humpback whales on their calving grounds.  Dinner is upon our return.
Accommodations at the Aston Maui Lu, Maui (L,D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, HaleakalaWed., Feb. 26 Maui / Haleakala National Park
Maui is named for the demigod who snared the sun and held it in place until it promised to move more slowly across the sky. This is the second largest island, formed by two mountains connected by a low isthmus, and it offers us diverse landscapes and superb scenery with Haleakala, the third highest mountain in Hawaii, a spectacular backdrop.

After breakfast, we explore the summit of Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano.  It is a geological wonder; with a stunning crater 10 miles long and 2 miles wide. It last erupted just over 200 years ago. The magnificent panoramic view at the summit reveals a seeming moonscape where the Hawaii Birding Nature Tourremarkable Silversword plant grows, while on a clear day the looming silhouette of the Big Island can be seen far to the southeast.

Throughout the day, we explore varied habitats, including ranchlands, alien tree plantations, native subalpine scrub and the alpine zone in search of Sky Larks, Common Pheasants, Short-eared Owls, and Chukars.

At the park’s Hosmer Grove picnic area, we expect to have close looks at Iiwis, Hawaii Amakihis, and Apapanes as they feed at eye-level in the mamane trees, and will look especially for the Maui Alauahio, an island endemic.  Learn more about conservation efforts to save these beautiful species.

On our way down the mountain, we will stop for dinner at the gracious Kula Lodge, a restaurant with fabled food as well as views.
Accommodations on the Aston Maui Lu, Maui (L,D)

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, ApapaneThurs., Feb. 27 Departures
While our tour ends today, the National Park Service (NPS) of Haleakala NP offers walks to individuals to a very special area, the Waikamoi Preserve. These walks are not open to commercial tour groups, but if you wish to stay on, we can highly recommend that you try to book that early with NPS, and get your name on the list for this walk, offered around the “Bird Loop Trail” twice weekly, at the time we go to press with this including Thursdays.  This will require transport but we can help you with logistics as we depart for the airport.

For those leaving, we have a group transfer to the airport to meet flights out mid-morning onwards, or you can stay and relax at the hotel and arrange for a transfer back to the airport at your leisure.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Akohekohe

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Akikiki


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Cost of the journey is based on double occupancy - $4890.00 from Honolulu, Oahu, departing Lihue, Kauai. Cost for the extension is $875.00. Our top-rated Hawaii Birding and Nature Tour costs include: transportation during the journey, all accommodations, meals as specified in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), professional guide services, park and other entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses. On this tour we have not included breakfasts, as the hotels do not do so, and we find it easiest if people go down to eat in the restaurant or at a nearby coffee shop as they wish, rather than to coordinate a group meal first thing in the day.  If you wish to save time or money, you can also pick up items to eat in your room, as most have coffee makers.

Cost does not include: round-trip airfare to and from your home to Honolulu, departing Kauai or Maui, items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, or drinks from the bar; or gratuities for luggage handling or personal services. The tour requires 6 participants, and we will notify those signed up when we have met that number so you can book your flights.

Single supplement is subject to availability and is an additional cost of $995.00. This additional cost to guarantee a single room is a direct-to-hotel cost with no mark-up to Naturalist Journeys. Single supplement for the extension is $200.

For the main tour, you are responsible for planning your arrival to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and departure from Lihue Airport (LIH), Kauai.  Please arrive by 2 PM on Feb. 13, and depart at a time convenient for you on Feb. 25.  If staying on for the extension, your departure is from Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG). Please arrive by 2 PM on Feb.13 (you may arrive later, but then plan on taking a shuttle to the hotel at additional cost).  Departures from either Kauai or Maui are at your leisure.

Inter-island group flights are not included in the price of the tour, but will be coordinated by Naturalist Journeys to keep the group together. We will make every effort to keep costs low – each segment is approx. $70-$110, depending on flight schedules.  For the main tour you need two segments, possibly three if you depart from Oahu.  For the extension you would need three, possibly four if you depart from Oahu.

Naturalist Journeys, LLC is an equal opportunity service provider and committed to the goal of ensuring equal opportunity for all in employment and program delivery.

Photo Credits:
Hawaiian Birds, photos by Tom Dove:
Pg. 1. ‘I’iwi, Pg. 2. Red-footed Booby in flight, Pg. 3 Oahu Elepaio, Red-billed Leiothrix, Hawaiian Stilts, Pg. 4 Laysan Albatrosses on nesting grounds and Bristle-thighed Curlew, Pg. 5 'Akiapola'au, Pg. 6 Palila and Hawaii Elepaio, Pg. 8 'Akeke'e, Pg. 9 Anianiau and Short-eared Owl, Pg. 12 Apapane and Akohekohe (Crested Honeycreeper), Pg. 13 Akikiki (Hawaiian Creeper), Pg. 14 Oahu Amikihi and ‘I’iwi
Other photos: Pg. 5 Several Scenics, Fairy Terns, Brown Noddies and Nene with Chick, by Doug Pratt.   
Whale splashing, page 10, by tour participant Verna Johnson. Breeching Whale Pg. 10, Tom Dove.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park photo by NPS. Monk Seal, plants, and some scenics by Peg Abbott.

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Silversword

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, Oahu Amikihi

Hawaii Birding Nature Tour, ‘I’iwi

Naturalist Journeys LLC, a top birding and nature tour company, offers specialty small group travel to many of the best nature destinations worldwide. Naturalist Journeys’ expert guides have decades of experience leading guided nature and birding tours as well as travel photography tours, all with a focus on responsible travel and eco-tourism. Naturalist Journeys also offer Utah hiking adventure tours and adventure travel in national parks and wildlife reserves ranging from in-depth Alaska wildlife tours to guided Texas and Florida birding tours. Costa Rica nature and birding tours are among our top-rated as are our Panama nature tours and African wildlife safari tours. Our many repeat clients enjoy dependable and diverse holidays on Galapagos nature tours, Arctic and Antarctica nature cruises, and birding and wildlife tours from Arizona to the Amazon and beyond.