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Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Map of Hakalau Island

small state map showing location

Hakalau, Hawaii


Map the Hakalau Island with numbered locations


(1) Kipuka 21
This small, beautiful island of rain forest vegetation amid lava flows is easily accessible along the Saddle Road (Highway 200). Pull off the north side of the roadway between mile posts 21 and 22. Walk across the lava flow to the edge of the forest and search the mid canopy for 'oma'o and 'elepaio. Look for red blossoms in the 'ohi'a trees and watch carefully for nectar feeding birds such as 'apapane, i'iwi, and 'amakihi. The 'akepa and Hawaii creeper are also occasionally seen here.

(2) Powerline Road & Pu'u O'o Trail
The Power Line Road(PLR) intersects with the Saddle Road between mile posts 22 and 23. Park just past the PLR sign marking the entrance to a primitive road heading south across the jumbled lava. Forested kipukas, islands of vegetation, dot the barren landscape. One to three miles down the road, walk across the pahoehoe lava and into the kiuka to see common native forest birds as well as four endangered forest birds--'akepa, 'akiapola'au, Hawaii creeper, and 'io. Nene also nest in the area and are sometimes seen flying overhead. About a half mile west of Power Line Road, the Pu'u O'o Trail works its way 3 to 4 miles through kipukas of various sizes. Most of the common native forest birds can be seen along this trail.

(3) Pu'u La'au
Approximately 40 miles from Hilo on the Saddle Road, the Pu'u La'au Road heads up Mauna Kea to the north. This gravel and dirt road is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles or by foot. The road eventually climbs to 11,000 feet on the southwest side of Mauna Kea. The dry forest habitat is part of the mamane'naio forest community. Watch for pueo gliding low over the slopes and for the endangered palila and the Mauna Kea 'elepaio amongst the native vegetation. Permission from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources must by acquired prior to entering the area. For information, call (808) 933-4221 on weekdays.

(4) Hawaii Volcanoes NP & Mauna Loa Road(Strip Road)
Take Highway 11 to Mauna Loa Road and continue 10 miles to the Mauna Loa summit trailhead. All the common native forest birds are found in the area, although densities are low.

(5) Bird Park
The 1-mile loop trail in the Bird Park(Kipuka Puaulu) features native plants found nowhere else. Native birds are uncommon but exotic birds such as the house finch, northern cardinal, Japanese white-eye, kalij pheasant, melodious laughing-thrush, and red-billed leiothrix are often observed.

(6) Thurston Lava Tube/Kilauea Iki Trail
Trails lead through both of these interesting areas that are home to native forest birds. 'Apapane are usually abundant.

(7) Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park
The Aimakapa and Kaloko Ponds are home to many water birds, including the Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian stilt, and migrants such as shovelers, pintails, and scaup. Check with the park office for viewing tips and access rules. Shorebirds, including ruddy turnstones, wandering tattlers, and golden plovers, may be seen from the beach-walk trail.

(8) Waiakea Pond, Hilo
Inland from Hilo Bay is a large pond where migrant water birds and shorebirds are frequently seen. Picnic sites and large grassy areas are available for public enjoyment.

(9) Lokoaka Pond, Keaukaha, Hilo
Take Kalanianaole Avenue past Hilo Harbor and watch for the large pond on the right. Migrant water birds and shorebirds are frequently seen in this area.

Return to Bird Checklist for the Hakalau Forest NWR Complex

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