Maui’s diverse ecosystems make it a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to view a wide variety of species. What’s more, an astounding 90% of the species found here are found nowhere else on the planet. From admiring vibrant marine life in Maui’s underwater world to catching sight of native birds in Maui’s forested regions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for Maui birds and wildlife watching.
Maui Bird Watching
Simply driving down the road may allow you to catch sight of the nene, considered the rarest goose in the world and also known for being Hawaii’s state bird. Nene crossings can be found dotting the island where the birds are most plentiful. A few of the other birds that are often spotted in Maui include the Chukar partridge, Hawaiian stilt, tropical Java finch, spotted dove, and egret. Maui Birds are often most active between dawn and 11am, making this an ideal time of day for birdwatching. Shorebirds, on the other hand, are often most active soon after high tide, which changes daily. Explore Maui Nature offers an excellent birdwatching tour that will allow you to spot some of the many unique species of birds on the island. The tour includes Haleakala National Park and Kealia Wildlife Refuge, and binoculars are provided. Along with the edge you’ll get on spotting native birds with the help of a guide, you’ll also learn more about the birds that call Hawaii home and their roles in Hawaiian culture and legends.
Maui Wildlife Watching
Beyond birding, the other best opportunity that Maui presents for wildlife watching is in and on the ocean. A wide variety of tropical fish as well as larger fascinating creatures call Maui’s surrounding waters home. Boat and snorkeling tours are some of the best ways to get up close and personal with Maui’s marine wildlife. Sail Trilogy Tours and Sea Maui are two of the well-regarded boat tour operators that run out of Maui’s west coast, offering a variety of Maui wildlife viewing experiences. Their snorkeling excursions along the Ka’anapali Coast and to Molokini will provide encounters with tropical fish, manta rays, monk seals, and green sea turtles, among others. Hawaiian spinner dolphins and humpback whales (in season) can also often be spotted on some of Maui’s best boat tours.
Where to Stay
West Maui is a great place to base your stay when it comes to wildlife watching excursions on the water! At Mauilife Realty, we offer Maui vacation rentals along the west coast and throughout the island. Browse our listings and contact us for more information!