Forest and Open Land Birds

One of the most wondrous aspects of Hawaiʻi’s birds is the incredible radiation of species. See this page for more information on the amazing evolution of birds and other species in Hawaiʻi.

Below is an illustration from a course lesson given at the University of Washington:

A list and descriptions of species that embody the various forms of Hawaiian species, both surviving forms and those extinct is here:

DLNR 2015 SWAP individual factsheets for 33 forest bird species are here: Links for each factsheet (with image or artists depictions) are here:

A nice summary for Iiwi is here:

A Consensus Taxonomy for the Hawaiian Honeycreepers, D. Pratt 2014:

Individual Wikipedia page links for endemic forest birds of Hawaiʻi broken down by family are here: Bold text indicates IUCN designations (VU-vulnerable, EN-Endangered, CR-critically endangered, EX-Extinct, EW-extinct in the wild; LC indicates least concern).

Mohoidae (Nectarivorous songbirds within its own unique family)

Corvidae (Crows)

Monarchidae (Monarch flycatchers)

Sylviidae (Passerine group)

Turdidae (Thrushes)

Drepanididae (Hawaiian Honeycreepers)

An important resource (not available free but with some accessibility of text at is Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds, Implications for Island Avifauna Edited by Thane K. Pratt, Carter T. Atkinson, Paul C. Banko, James D. Jacobi, and Bethany L. Woodworth.

Here are websites of two great conservation organizations:;

This link has beautiful artwork for the Hawaiian Honeycreepers:

Videos, photos, and sound recordings of Hawaiian birds at the Internet Bird Collection (IBC) can be found here:

Alala Project

The Alala project was initiated to bring back the Hawaiian Crow, a species kept alive only in captivity up until recently. The unfolding story of how the species was prepared for release, and then released beginning in 2016, with some setbacks, is a fascinating story. Some of the details are here: As of October 2020, news reports said that all releasted birds surviving were going to be recaptured.

Credit: USFWS

As explained on the website Due to a sharp drop in their population, a few Alala were brought into captivity in the 1970s. As of 2017, there were over 125 birds in two breeding facilities managed by the Hawaiʻi Endangered Bird Conservation Program (San Diego Zoo Global). A recent story in Audubon magazine describes the success of the program:

Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implications for Island Avifauna. This book is available for purchase. A review is here:–Implications-for-Island/10.1525/cond.2010.112.4.863.full

Forest Bird Videos:

Unique birds of Hawaiʻi:

Jack Jeffrey video:

Iiwi feeding:

Kauai forest bird preservation:


Native forest birds:

Alala tool use: