HAWAII – Due to their geographical location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away from any land, the Hawaiian Islands have been isolated since they emerged as volcanoes from a magma hot spot a few million years ago. It is only very recently in their history that they were settled by humans. Before their arrival, the birds that evolved in Hawaii had no predators except other birds. These birds are called ‘endemic’ to distinguish them from the ‘introduced’ species brought to the islands, first by the Hawaiians, next mainly by the Europeans.

Human settlers also brought with them their – mostly – domestic animals, but some of them turned into bird predators, such as rats, mongoose and cats. Those predators drove many endemic species to extinction and many more to a critically endangered status. Another factor is bird habitat encroachment due to development for agriculture and infrastructure for cities. Still another factor is ‘invasion’ of endemic bird territory by the introduced bird species. Finally, some introduced birds have inter-bred with the native ones, for example the Mallard with the Hawaiian Duck.

Seagulls – the rare seagull that will make it to the Hawaiian Islands will do poorly in general. This is because gulls are mostly scavengers along shallow continental shorelines in temperate climates. However there is no continental shelf around the Hawaiian Islands, due to their volcanic origin from the deep ocean floor.

Crows – The Hawaiian Crow is now officially extinct in the wild. As of October 2012, only 109 individuals remained, not in Hawaii but in California, in two captive-breeding programs. They are not bred in Hawaii because they are preyed upon by the Hawaiian Hawk, itself an endangered species.

BIRDING ON HAWAII (a separate page)

Below are some websites that can be helpful to identify which birds can be found in Hawaii, both endemic and introduced:
Birds of the island of Kauai
Hawaii’s birds: past, present, and future
List of birds of Hawaii (both introduced and endemic)
Introduced bird species in Hawaii
Endemic bird species in Hawaii
Bird conservation in Hawaii
Hawaii Audubon Society
A great source of information for Hawaiian wildlife is the following website of the State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Wildlife Programs, where dozens of fact sheets are listed for Species of Greatest Conservation Needs‘.
The Bishop Museum has published a checklist of all the birds observed on the Hawaiian Islands, with .pdf documents for each species detailing their locations over the years.
http://www.soundshawaiian.com/birds.html (a website on sounds of some birds of Hawaii)
List of endemic birds of Hawaii: http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/article-island-birds-endemic-hawaiian-islands.html

Books – A Pocket Guide to Hawaii’s Birds, by H. Douglas Pratt
A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawaii, University of Hawai’i Press
Hawaii’s Birds by the Hawaii Audubon Society

The Nene is the State Bird of Hawaii - photo by Denise Motard
The Nene is the State Bird of Hawaii – photo by Denise Motard

Names and Status of birds on this website: The English name is followed by the Latin name and the Hawaiian name (when available). The status is classified this way:
Endemic: Bird species unique to Hawaii
Introduced: Bird species introduced to Hawaii by humans
Indigenous: Bird species that made it to Hawaii on their own, and found in other regions of the world.
Visitor: Bird species that visit Hawaii for their winter migration (for the most part).
Most of the birds on this website can be observed rather easily. Click on the bird name below to access the page for that bird species:

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)
BLACK FRANCOLIN (Francolinus francolinus)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW (Numenius tahitiensis)
CACKLING GOOSE (Branta hutchinsii)
CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
COMMON MYNAH (Acridotheres tristis)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild)
ERCKEL’S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis erckelii)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
GREY FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pondicerianus)
HAWAIIAN COOT (fulica alai)
HAWAIIAN DUCK (Anas wyvilliana)
HAWAIIAN GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis)
HAWAIIAN OWL (Asio flammeus sandvicensis)
HAWAIIAN STILT (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
INDIAN PEAFOWL (pavo cristatus)
JAPANESE WHITE EYE (Zosteros japonicus)
JAVA SPARROW (Lonchura oryzivora)
KALIJ PHEASANT (Lophura leucomelanos)
LAYSAN ALBATROSS(phoebastria immutabilis)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
NENE (branta sandvicensis)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
NORTHERN SHOVELER(Spatula clypeata)
NUTMEG MANNIKIN (Lonchura punctulata)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidros melatonos)
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus)
RED-BILLED LEIOTHRIX (Leiothrix lutea)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (paroaria coronata)
RED-TAILED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon rubricauda)
RED-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer)
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
SAFFRON FINCH (sicalis flaveola)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
SPOTTED DOVE (spilopelia chinensis)
WHITE TERN (Gygis alba)
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (copsychus malabaricus)
WHITE-TAILED TROPIC BIRD (Phaethon lepturus)
WILSON’S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata)
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (serinus mozambicus)
ZEBRA DOVE (geopelia striata)