Review of Hawaiian Birds of the Sea

The following is a review of Hawaiian Birds of the Sea by Robert J. Shallenberger. Stacia and Eddie are going to Hawaii in May and are trying to find as many books and other resources on Hawaiian natural history.

Hawaiian Birds of the Sea is an amazing photographic work covering the seabirds found across the entire Hawaiian archipelago. Included are 135 photographs of ocean-traversing birds including: albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, storm-petrels, tropicbirds, boobies, frigatebirds, terns, and noddies.

Many of the birds are difficult to find as they reside on remote islands away from the more populated “main” islands. But some are quite accessible, especially on Kaua’i and The Big Island.

Hawaiian Birds of the Sea is not so much a bird-finding or field guide but is instead a life story of each of the magnificent seabirds that call the islands home.

The text flows well and is highly entertaining. Robert Shallenberger included several anecdotes from his time spent amongst various seabird colonies. We only wish he would have included more!

Besides the sections on the various seabirds, Hawaiian Birds of the Sea also has small chapters on the cultural connection of seabirds, conservation, observation tips, and photographic tips.

Whether or not we ever make it to a seabird colony (hopefully some day!) the photos and information in Hawaiian Birds of the Sea is inspiring. We owe it to these magnificent birds to keep our attention on their conservation status and to enjoy them any way we can.

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

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