Mauna Loa & Pu‘u O’o Trail Bird Watching Tour Details
Exploration of a cloud-mist forest on Mauna Loa and a sub-alpine dry forest on Maunakea
Visit the last wild Palila habitat in search of this rare & endangered bird
Hike in the native forest amongst unique endangered plants animals, and insects
Discover the jewels of our forest including Amakihi, Iiwi, Elepaio, Apapane, and our endangered Akiapolaau
|Adult (8+ yrs)||$205.86|
What to Bring
What to Bring & Wear: Sturdy closed-toed shoes or boots, long pants, and a light rain jacket
Gear provided: Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos
Lunch & Snacks Included: Continental breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli-style lunch, with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
- Morning trips departing weekdays only (except holidays). 11 – 12 hours round trip, departs from Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace, Highway 190/Waikoloa Road Junction and Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.
- Transportation Included
- Easy to Moderate Hike; ages 8 and over.
- Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
- Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
|How much hiking do we do?||Expect to hike approximately 4 miles in the Rainforest portion of this adventure, and less than one mile in the Dryforest portion.|
|Is there elevation gain?||Elevation gain is minimal: 500’ in the Rainforest, and 350’ in the Dryforest.|
|What is the difference in the birds seen on Hakalau vs. Rainforest & Dryforest?||The Akepa and Hawaii Creeper are found in Hakalau, while the Palila is found on the Rainforest & Dryforest Adventure.|
|Is it possible to use a spotting scope?||Due to the behavior of Hawaii’s endemic birds, the use of a spotting scope can be challenging. If you feel up to the test, we do encourage you to bring your own birdwatching gear. We do provide binoculars on the tour for guest use.|
|Is it possible to get photos of the birds?||Typically, there are many opportunities for the determined photographer to photograph the birds along the way.|
|Do you do birding on other islands?||No, but we’d be happy to refer you to a reputable outfit upon request|
Small pockets of koa and ohia spring up along the trail but our destination is kipuka #34 and #35 which are some of the most productive birding areas in the state. Some of the avifauna we hope to spot along the way are iiwi, apapane, amakihi, omao, elepaio, and the elusive akiapolaau, with its unique multipurpose beak. Many of these are found in the ohia and koa canopy.
Native Hawaiian dryforests are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The sandalwoods trees which once dominated these slopes are all but gone, and the remaining mamane trees are at the top of the menu for feral ungulates which frequent the area. Although the terrain is somewhat uneven, the hiking is easy. We are particularly interested in sighting the critically threatened palila, which feeds almost entirely on the green pods of the mamane tree. There are two other endemics of note to be found here: the Hawaii amakihi, and the local species of the Hawaii elepaio (noted for the white feathering on its head)