Fiji is a true birdwatcher’s paradise, with rare species and endemic species brightening up the forests and skies. Here are the very best places to birdwatch in Fiji, and what you can expect see...
The Waisali Rainforest Reserve can be found on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. The vast rainforest undulates up and down hills just outside Savusavu, covering the landscape in a thick, green carpet, providing an ideal home for hundreds of birds.
Included in these are many endemic species, so be sure to keep a keen eye out for the friendly ground dove tottering along the paths, the black-faced shrikebill and the aptly named long-legged warbler.
The jungle canopy also hides some of the rarest birds you can find in Fiji, so keep your eyes to the skies to try and catch a glimpse of the orange dove, the red shining parrot, the collared lory and the orange breasted myzomela.Perhaps harder to spot is the Fiji white-eye, whose green-hued feathers helps it to blend in with the leaves it flits around.
Sovi Basin, on Fiji’s Coral Coast is a vast protected area of steep volcanic peaks strewn with jungle.
Look up to see long-legged warblers perched in the branches and see if you can spot the friendly ground dove that calls this forest home. The red-throated lorikeet, whose luminous colouring makes it stand out from the forest canopy, can also be found here.
The island of Kadavu is Fiji’s birdwatching capital and you can see many species wherever you are on the island, whether you’re exploring the quiet coastal areas, paddling in a kayak searching for seabirds among the mangroves, or are literally just outside of your hotel.
To increase your chances of sightings, however you’re better off in the rainforest. Walk the Naikorokoro Cascades Trail to get deep into the forest, Starting from Naikorokoro Village, the hike will take around one hour. You’ll likely see Fiji’s endemic birds, such as the Fiji goshawk and the collard lory. Listen out for the peale’s ‘barking’ pigeon, also native to Fiji.
There are also four birds that are native just to the island of Kadavu. The Kadavu honeyeater can be distinguished from the Fiji spotted honeyeater by its green eye patch, while the Kadavu fantail is missing the three spots on its head that the streaked fantails have. Easier to spot are the Kadavu shining parrots that brighten up the canopy in shades of blue, red yellow and greens. Listen out for the Kadavu whistling dove – you’ll likely hear it before you see it as its forest colours keeps it well hidden.
Not only does Kadavu provide exciting sightings of birds in its forests, the island is a great place to get a good look at Fiji’s many seabirds.
Shearwaters, petrels, terns, herons and frigates can be seen wondering on costal flats and small outcrops all around the island, but the best place for seabird sightings is Yabu island. Nicknamed as ‘birdland’, the islet just off Kadavu is home to the largest booby rookery in Fiji.
Walk along the sand to see the pairs of brown-footed and red-footed boobies, or for a memorable experience, take a sunset cruise to see the boobies return to the island to roost. Every evening as the sun goes down, thousands of silhouettes of the birds fill the orange-streaked skies as they make their way back to Yabu. Watching from the boat ensures you have the best view of this captivating sight.
The Bouma National Heritage Park covers a huge 80% of the green-cloaked island of Taveuni, so it’s no surprise that the pristine landscape is home to over 100 species of birds.
Combine birdwatching with a dip in Fiji’s most iconic waterfall by walking the Vidawa Rainforest Trail. Spot red shining parrots, parrot finches, crowned flycatchers and turtle doves along the way. If you’re lucky, you may even see the rarer orange doves and silktails.
At the end of the trek, cool down with a dip in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Surrounded by emerald green, chances are you’ll glimpse a few birds flitting around while you’re in the pool, too.
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