Hawai'i Birding Book Reviews
by Kristin Purdy


'The Birdwatcher's Guide to Hawai'i, Rick Soehren, 1996.
This book is intended to help the birder find locations and habitats of Hawai'i's birds. It's divided into chapters devoted to individual islands and evaluates birding hotspots on the six main islands to which the public has access. Birders will also find general maps of each island marked with birding spots, the list of facilities at each spot, tidbits about the evolution of Hawai'i's avifauna, and even, Hawai'in mythology. This book is not intended as a field guide since it includes only a few color plates of birds. Best when used in conjunction with a guide to Hawai'i's birds--but still, offers detailed bird touring information and is very good.

Enjoying Birds in Hawai'i (subtitled, A Birdfinding Guide to the Fiftieth State), H. Douglas Pratt, 1993.
The essential guide to finding birds in Hawai'i--considered among some birders as the best. This book is divided into chapters devoted to individual islands (one chapter combines Moloka'i and Lana'i) and includes a species guide as well. General island maps and specific site maps are detailed enough to easily guide birders to the hotspots described. The descriptions of most spots include location, access, precautions, and notable species info. Despite the section devoted to species, best when used in conjunction with a guide to Hawai'i's birds.

Hawai'i's Birds, published by the Hawai'i Audubon Society.
A pocket-sized guide compiled by Hawai'i's birders. Intended to be used as a field guide with each page devoted to one species. Birds are most frequently presented in photographs, but very rare indigenous and endemics are shown with illustrations. Narrative information includes Distribution, Description, Voice, and Habits. The distribution paragraph tells where the bird can be found, but isn't highly detailed. Its compact size makes this book a good carry-along for hikers.

A Pocket Guide to Hawai'i's Birds, H. Douglas Pratt, Jack Jeffrey, 1996.
A good little book if your vacation isn't devoted solely to birding. This book includes a little bit of everything and might be all you need. Intended to be a pocket-sized field guide in narrative style. Also includes a section on 12 birding hotspots on Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui, and The Big Island. The book is divided into sections based on Hawai'i's habitats, and includes information on the evolution of Hawai'i's environment and flora and fauna. All birds are represented by photographs that accompany narratives. Field marks and detailed descriptions of the habitats are included in the narratives. Contains general information on where to find the birds as opposed to birding tour-type info.