If you enjoy bird-watching, you’ll love exploring the Island of Maui. In addition to all the other stunning sights this tropical isle offers visitors, the diverse collection of both native and migratory bird species make it a real bird-watcher’s paradise. As you plan your itinerary, be sure to schedule some time for visiting the lovely bird-watching locations that dot the area, where you’ll view these incredible creatures against the backdrop of their breathtaking natural habitat, experiencing the beauty, mystery, and variety they bring to the island.
While you’ll certainly see many lovely birds in other, non-wildlife-designated locations — often including your hotel grounds — if you’d like to do some concentrated bird-watching, you’ll find several wonderful places to do it in the heart of the Valley Isle.
Kealia Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
Located about a mile north of Kihei along North Kihei Road, adjacent to Kealia Beach, Kealia Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is home to a large collection of both native and migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, many of which are endangered. Kealia Ponds is close enough to Kihei to hop on a 150 cc scooter rental from Maui Scooter Shack and enjoy the scenery and the invigorating tropical breezes along the way. Since most of the refuge is viewable from the road, you won’t even have to worry about where to park your scooter. The Hawaiian stilt and the Hawaiian coot are two endangered birds you might spot at the refuge, along with many others. This beautiful wildlife habitat is one of the few remaining natural wetlands in the Hawaiian Islands.
Kanaha Pond State Waterbird Sanctuary
Located on the island’s north shore, on the ocean side of the Hana Highway between the airport and Kahului Bay, Kanaha Pond State Waterbird Sanctuary is a great place to visit shortly after arriving or shortly before departing the island due to its close proximity to the airport. One of the first landmarks added to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks, today the pond features the Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot, and a variety of migratory bird species. Once you’re settled at your hotel, you can enjoy a short respite from your bird watching to take an amazing scooter tour of Maui’s south shore or simply tool around Kihei for an afternoon on your 49 cc moped rental from The Shack.
Hosmer Grove and Waikomoi Preserve
Located about three-quarters of a mile before Haleakala Park Headquarters, on Haleakala Road (Route 378), both nature sites offer incredible bird-watching opportunities. Hosmer Grove offers visitors a glimpse of such birds as the Maui creeper and the ‘apapane, which love to forage among the grove’s exotic trees. They can also enjoy viewing several other native and introduced bird species along the trail.
Waikomoi Preserve is a restricted area that can only be accessed via closed trail and only under the guidance of a Nature Conservancy hike leader. Setting up these arrangements in advance of your visit can help you ensure that you won’t miss out on this incredibly beautiful and diverse bird-watching site. The crested honeycreeper and Maui parrotbill are two notable birds that can be spotted in the area, along with several other more-common species.
Other Maui bird-watching destinations that are somewhat more remote include Haleakala National Park, and Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area.
Round Out Your Visit with the Wind in Your Hair
At Maui Scooter Shack, we’ve spoken to enough Maui vacationers to know that you’ll never regret the time you spend enjoying the freedom of riding one of our moped or scooter rentals while you’re here. While all our scooters are easy to ride, the options we offer will let you choose the model that works best for your level of experience as well as your goals for your Maui vacation. If you have any questions, just ask. We’re here to help you in every way possible!