I haven’t ever been a real birder, but since moving to Hawaii I’ve been more drawn to them. Because of this interest, one of my favorite places to visit on the Big Island is the Palila Forest Discovery Trail. Opened in July, 2016, this one mile loop trail passes through Mauna Kea’s unique, high-elevation dry forest.
The endangered palila (top two photos, eating a mamane seed), which I posted about previously here, is the signature bird to be seen there, but there are many other kinds of birds, both native and introduced, in the area. In addition, the trail has a good variety of other wildlife from bugs to wild pigs. To top it off, the views towards Mauna Loa (below) and Maui are wonderful.
Finally, the drive to the trail goes along Old Saddle Road, which is a fun drive and a place where I often see pueos, the native Hawaiian owl, as well as wild turkeys and other birds and wildlife. All in all, a trip I never tire of making.
The Palila Forest Discovery Trail is featured on the Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Trail, a selection of sites that offer birding opportunities on the Big Island. For more information about Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Trail, go to hawaiibirdingtrails.hawaii.gov/.
For more information about Palila Forest Discovery Trail, go to dlnr.hawaii.gov/restoremaunakea/palila-forest-discovery-trail/.
Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge, ‘Favorite place’.