Backyard Birds In Hawaii (19 Species With Pictures)

Birds from all around the globe may be seen in Hawaii. The majority of the birds in Hawaii are unique to this continent, despite the fact that it is an American territory. We’ll look at backyard birds in Hawaii, including information and pictures on 19 different species, in this article.

I’ll list a few birdwatching destinations and organizations in Hawaii at the conclusion of this article.

How many different species of birds live in Hawaii?

Counting the number of species in a specific location is difficult. According to Wikipedia, however, the current official state list currently lists 337 species. Surprisingly, only 64 of the 130 individuals who arrived in Hawaii by accident are indigenous to the state. Several of the indigenous Hawiian species are now only seen in remote woodlands and mountainous regions, while others have been introduced or occur by chance in developed regions.


Which bird species you may see in your own yard depends on a variety of factors. Whether you’re on the “wet” or “dry” side of the island, how close you are to the shore or woods, and what types of flora and trees may grow in your neighborhood are among some of these factors.

I chose the most commonly reported backyard species based on information found at project feederwatch. Every year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology collects data from backyard birdwatchers to help researchers understand which birds they see in their yard. This list, therefore, is not meant to cover every bird that may visit Hawaii residents’ homes; however, it includes a good list of 19 species that people frequently report seeing in their gardens.


Scientific name: Zosterops japonicus

The warbling white-eye is also known as the Japanese white-eye and the mountain white-eye, among other names. Their olive-yellow coloration, with a buffy belly, is the most apparent distinguishing characteristic. Their prominent white eye-ring is also an identifying feature. These birds, which are mostly found in flocks, spend the majority of their time in the trees. Fruit, insects, and nectar make up their diet. In 1929, this white-eye was brought to O’ahu from Asia. The population of these birds increased swiftly, making them one of Hawaii’s most populous. They can now be found on all of Hawaii’s islands.


Scientific name: Acridotheres tristis

With a brown body, black head, yellow beak, and yellow eye patch, the common myna is a medium-sized bird. Only when expanded do they have a white stripe on each wing. Mynas have always been popular cage birds because of their ability to sing and communicate. Foragers eat insects, seeds, fruit, grains, reptiles, and even human trash. They are foragers who eat a little of everything. They are regarded as dangerously invasive and swiftly supplanting native species in any area where they are introduced. Unfortunately, the situation is the same on all of Hawaii’s islands: there are a lot of them.


Scientific name: Padda oryzivora

With its thick pink beak, this finch family member stands out. They have a black head with a white cheek patch and a red rimmed eye, as well as brownish-pink belly, pink legs, and pink ears. Sparrows in flocks forage and roost together, which is a social behavior. They crack seeds and grains with the help of their thick beak, which is what they eat mostly. In some countries, they are considered a agricultural problem because of their consumption of rice crops. Sparrows were imported to Hawaii from Java, Indonesia, where they are indigenous. They may now be found on all of Hawaii’s islands.


Scientific nameHaemorhous mexicanus

Throughout much of the United States, the House Finch is a common bird. They were first found in western North America and spread quickly, being brought to Hawaii in the mid-1800s. Females lack any red, while males are mostly streaked brown and white with red on the head and chest. They may be found across the whole island, but they prefer to live on the lee side (wet side). They’ll be drawn to backyard seeders like flies to a fly.


Scientific nameMimus polyglottos

Mockingbirds are known for their propensity to imitate the songs of other kinds of birds. A male mockingbird may master up to 200 different songs over its lifetime, according to estimates. Unless they are flying, it can be difficult to see the huge white patches on their wings and tail because these medium-sized song birds are mostly gray. They may be aggressive of invading birds and frequently reside in tall bushes. To help control insect pests (which they consume), the northern mockingbird was imported to Hawaii in 1928. They favor the drier places on the islands, particularly where Kiawe trees may be found.


Scientific name: Paroaria coronata

The red-crested cardinal is actually a member of the tanager family, despite its name and having a similar crimson crest to the northern cardinal. Birds like these may be found in Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay, among other South American countries. With its gray back, white belly, and crimson head, red-crested cardinals are difficult to mistake. While sightings are less prevalent on the Big Island, they may be seen on most of the islands. Beach parks are home to a lot of red-crested cardinals.


Scientific namePasser domesticus

Generally look at as pests, houses sparrows are the only other species of wild birds in the continental U.S. besides starlings that do not fall under the protection of the migratory bird act. Aside from being an invasive species that has spread to nearly every continent, they are overall aggressive towards other birds and can will take over or destroy native birds nests. House sparrows are mostly brown in color, with some black and brown streaking on their wings and buffy chest. Males have a black mask and throat. They are extremely comfortable in urban areas and are the most commonly seen bird in towns and around people. They can be found on all the islands. These sparrows can become problematic at outdoor dining establishments.


Scientific name: Geopelia striata

In 1922, the zebra dove was brought to Hawaii, where it quickly colonized every island in the state. They’re frequently seen hanging out near outdoor restaurants and parks, looking for dropped food scraps, and they’re quite at home around people. These doves have exposed pale blue skin around their ringed eye and are a grayish-brown color throughout with heavy barring on the breast and back. All Hawaiian islands are home to this species.


Scientific nameCardinalis cardinalis

The Northern Cardinals are one of the most well-known and widely seen backyard birds in North America. Females have duller hues and are more pale brown with reddish variation, while males have brilliant red feathers and a black mask. The “mohawks” and reddish orange beaks of both sexes are instantly recognized. They were first seen on the Hawaiian islands in 1929, and they are now ubiquitous. Sunflower seed feeders are a favorite among them.


Scientific name: Leiothrix lutea

The Asian native leiothrix, the colorful little red-billed leiothrix. Chinese hill robin, Pekin robin, Pekin nightingale, Japanese nightingale, and Japanese hill robin are just a few of the names it goes by around the world. The red beak, yellow throat, and orange and yellow streaked wings are all characteristics to look for. On their wing tips and at the end of their tail, you can also see a little blue. They may clatter quite loudly, and some claim it sounds like they’re chastising humans passing by.

The red-billed leiothrix eats fruit, moths, bees, and mollusks and spends time in the forest understory. They are most commonly found in forested areas on the Big Island, Oahu, Moloka’i, and Maui after being brought to Hawaii in 1918. On Kauai, there are fewer people, and Lani has a low population density.


Scientific name: Psittacula krameri

The rose-ringed parakeet, which is native to Africa and India, is a medium-sized member of the parrot family. They were formerly a popular exotic pet and have dispersed across numerous places around the globe since escaping captivity. They are fond of seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries and are known to visit gardeners’ gardens and bird feeders. With deeper green wing tips, a lengthy tail, and a rosy-pink beak that extends sharply downward, they are light green all over.

Their green hue makes them blend in with the surrounding vegetation. The main populations seem to be on Oahu and Kauai, with sightings on other islands here and there. Unfortunately, they consume a lot of small farmer-grown crops on Kauai, resulting in losses.


Scientific name: Spilopelia chinensis

The spotted dove, which was introduced from Asia in the 1800s, has been a resident of Hawaii for a long time. Mountain dove, pearl-necked dove, and lace-necked dove are some of the other names for this bird. With a somewhat gray tinted head and pink legs, they are a tawny brown color all over. A black patch that stretches across both sides of their neck, covered in white dots, is the one feature that distinguishes them. They prefer open fields and parks, similar to other doves, and may be seen near human activity. They may be found on all of the islands, particularly near the beaches.


Scientific name: Copsychus malabaricus

India and southeast Asia are home to the white-rumped shama. Early in 1931, they are said to have been brought to Kauai from Malaysia, and in 1940, they are reported to have been transported to Oahu. Valley forests or the Ko’olaus range’s ridges are where they prefer to live on the islands. Males have a chestnut belly and a white patch above the tail. Females are brown in color and have comparable markings to males. Because of their singing talent, these shama’s are famed for having a lovely voice and were often kept as captives pets. They have been observed on Molokai, Lanai, and northern Maui, as well as Kauai and Oahu.


Scientific name: Pycnonotus cafer

The Indian subcontinent is home to the red-vented bulbul. Fruits, flower petals, nectar, bugs, and occasionally tiny lizards are among the fruits they consume. The body of red-vented bulbuls is light brown, with a black head and a short crest. The vivid crimson patch located just below the tail, which is often concealed, gives them their name.

Unfortunately, they are invasive in Hawaii, where they ruin orchid flowers and other crops by eating them. The government is asking people on all islands to report sightings and is attempting to stop their spread, since they only occur in huge numbers on Oahu.


Scientific name: Estrilda astrild

A finch native to southern Africa, the little common waxbill is a petite bird. A light gray body with thin bars, a crimson beak, and crimson eye mask, and a pink breast with rosy belly. Sightings were first reported in Hawaii in the late 1970s, with the exception of Molokai and Lanai, which were first discovered. In open grassy or weedy fields, look for them eating seeds. In most cities, they congregate in flocks.


Scientific name: Ortygornis pondicerianus

Partridges, pheasants, and quails are all grey francolins that live on the ground. They’re indigenous to India and grow to be about a foot long. The whole body of gray francolins is heavily striped, with blacker brown feathers on their wings. In the morning and evening, they prefer dry parts of Hawaii and may frequently be seen strolling around hotel lawns and along roadways. On all of the islands, gray francolins may frequently be found.


Scientific name: Pycnonotus jocosus

With its black head and crest, crimson cheek, white throat with a black necklace, gray body, and crimson undertail patch, the red-whiskered bulbul is a stunning species. They are indigenous to India, and they escaped capture or were unlawfully released in the 1960s, according to legend, and made their way to Hawaii. Unfortunately, like the other bulbul on this list, they are considered a “Hawaii Injurious Wildlife.” They are agricultural pests, aggressively pursuing and competing with other birds for seeds, spreading invasive plants. Only on Oahu do they exist in substantial numbers.


Scientific name: Lonchura atricapilla

The finch family’s chestnut munia is a little species found in Southeast Asia. Males have a black head and a pale blue beak, and are chestnut brown in color. The bill is the same for both sexes, although the body is a light brown with a somewhat darker brown head. Munias prefer to live in meadows since they primarily eat grains and seeds. In contrast to the scaly breasted munia, which is found throughout Hawaii, they prefer dampter environments. On Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, the most common munia is chestnut.


The scaly-breasted munia, another India and southeast Asia native, can also be found on the Hawaiian island. This bird is also known as the “nutmeg mannikin.” These birds have brown heads and backs, with deeper brown on their beak and face, as well as a pale chest and belly with a “scaled” feather pattern. The coloring varies somewhat on them. They are located in somewhat drier environments and eat grains and grass seed like the chestnut munia. All of the Hawaiian islands are home to the scaly-breasted munia.


If you want to expand your hobby beyond your own yard, Hawaii has a lot of choices. Meetups, seminars, field excursions, and birding trips are all available through the Hawaii Audubon Society.


From, you may learn more about each of these locations’ characteristics.

  • James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge – Oahu
  • Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge – Maui
  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park – Big Island
  • Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary – Maui
  • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge – Kauai

Audubon Hawaii Important Bird Areas can help you find even more hotspots.

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