Oahu Flora and Fauna

Categorized as Oahu Vacation Information

Oahu has a diversity of ecosystems from the mountains to the coast, providing habitat for many different species. Here are some of the most distinctive flora and fauna seen in Oahu as well as the rest of the Hawaiian Islands.

Escape from the congested and commercialized areas of Oahu in one of our Kailua luxury rentals.

One of Hawaii’s most majestic birds is the Hawaiian Hawk known as io. A symbol of Hawaiian royalty in ancient times, the hawk is mentioned often in Hawaiian traditions and also is part of the name of the royal Iolani Palace in Honolulu.

The bright red-orange akepa bird with its long, conical bill and the akiapolaau that pecks at bark to uncover insect larvae. The amakihi is olive green in color and lives in forests above 2,000 feet.

The apapane bird feeds on the nectar of the red-blossomed ohia lehua tree and also feeds on insects. The iiwi bird also feeds on ohia lehua nectar and used its long curved bill to feed on tubular blossoms.

Another treasured Hawaiian forest bird is the elepaio which is white on the bottom and brown-gray on top with white tail markings. The bird is named after the sound of its song.

Also consider our Hawaii Kai vacation rentals.

One of Hawaii’s most loved species is the state bird, the Nene goose. The Nene grows to be about five pounds and has less webbing on its feet than its ancestor, the Canadian goose. The Nene has a black face and buff-colored neck with dark streaks.

Then Nene feeds on various Hawaiian berries including the pink-berried pukiawe, the dark purple ohelo berries, and the kukuaenene berry named after the nene because it looks like their droppings.

One of Hawaii’s most stately and culturally important native trees is the koa tree. The durable koa wood has many uses, and the koa forests of Hawaii provide important habitat for native birds and other Hawaiian species.

Stay nearby the coast below in one of our Kailua vacation rentals.

An important food source in ancient Hawaii was provided by the breadfruit tree. With thick, large leaves, a mature breadfruit tree can produce up to 800 fruits per year. The starch-rich breadfruits may be baked, roasted, boiled or fried and some people compare the taste to a potato.

One of Hawaii’s most symbolic trees is the coconut palm, called niu in Hawaiian. There many varieties of coconut palms and they can reach up to 100 feet in height.

Other Creatures
The Hawaiian Hoary Bat is seen most often over the nearshore waters at dusk. Feeding on insects that catch in mid-air, the bats are Hawaii’s only land mammal.

Wild Hawaiian boars (pigs) inhabit Hawaii’s forests in fairly large numbers and are hunted on all of the main islands. The boars will usually run away if you come upon one during a hike, though the two big tusks can be quite frightening.

Many Hawaiian forests have deer, and the deer sometimes come out of the woods at night and will wander near a road or graze on a golf course.

Geckos are small lizards that you may see crawling up your walls and even across your ceiling, usually at night since they are nocturnal. They feed on bugs and are cute, so most people just let them be although their droppings can cause some maintenance issues.

Hawaiian Waters
In addition to all of the flora and fauna you can see on Hawaii’s land, in the nearshore waters of Hawaii you may be lucky enough to see some Hawaiian spinner dolphins leaping and spinning in the air. Sometimes huge pods of dolphins rest in protected bays in the early morning.

Hawaiian monk seals often climb onto the sandy shore where they sleep away the day. Also commonly seen near shore are Hawaiian green sea turtles that can measure more than four feet long and weigh more than four hundred pounds.

Do you plan on spending most of your time in Hawaii relaxing on a secluded beach. Check out our Lanikai vacation rentals.

Humpback whales are one of Hawaii’s most spectacular sights as they jump from the water and land with a huge splash. Aside from their repetitive breaching, the mammoth whales also send up spouts that are visible from far away.

Humpbacks visit Hawaii during the winter months and mate and give birth in Hawaiian waters. The whales often come very close to whale watching boats making for unforgettable encounters. The whales spend the summer months in Alaskan waters where they feed in the krill-rich waters.

The whales often come very close to boats on whale watching tours during the winter months before the humpbacks head back north to Alaskan waters to feed during the summer.