Review of A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai’i

The following is a review of A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai’i by Jim Denny. Stacia and Eddie are going to Hawaii in May and are trying to find as many books and other resources on Hawaiian natural history.

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai’i provides a comprehensive look into the birds birders are likely to encounter on the islands of Hawaii as well as the offshore waters.

The guide is broken up into general habitat types with sections on urban birds, country birds, forest birds, wetland birds, and seabirds. Each bird species in each section includes a large color photograph of the bird as well as a description of the bird, size, and whether or not it is endemic, migrant, or alien. Endangered species are marked specifically as well.

The text also gives a brief history of the species on the islands as well as information on where to look for the bird. The two appendixes also provide helpful information for birders:

  • Species distribution—which includes a breakdown of the birds by abundance and which island(s) you can find them on
  • Suggested birding locations—two pages of top birding locations broken down by island

One thing that would have made this guide better would be either range maps included with each species or some other way to quickly indicate which island(s) the species are found.

We love A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai’i for its big photos and focus on the birds of Hawaii (there are other more traditional field guides that cover more islands than just Hawaii). The guide is easy to use and informative and we plan on packing it along for our trip in May.

Disclaimer: We received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review on

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