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Kauai’s Wildlife: What Will You See?

In Adventure, Na Pali Coast by Makana ChartersLeave a Comment

When planning your trip to beautiful Kauai, you may be so distracted by images of sandy beaches, epic hikes, and gorgeous mountain views, that you completely forget about all the great wildlife you will have the chance to see. From on land to beneath the water’s depths, spotting Kauai’s wildlife will sure to be a highlight of your trip!

On Land

If you’ve never been to Kauai before, you may be surprised to find out that chickens are common to see throughout the island – so much so that you can even buy a bumper sticker of one as a souvenir! But, Kauai is not only home to these farm birds, it is actually home to more tropical bird species than any of the other Hawaiian islands.

kauai chickens

There are over 80 different species of birds which nest on the island and 21 are exclusively native to Kauai. Other birds on the island include the Laysan Albatross, Red-Footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, and Red-Tailed Tropic Birds. Plus, of course, the “Nene” – a goose which is endemic to Hawaii and found nowhere else on Earth. It is also Hawaii’s state bird.

Of course, like in many places with residential areas, you’ll also see some feral cats and dogs roaming around. You may even see a stray goat or pig if you wander into the farming areas! There is also a large deer population – including both Black Tail Deer and Mule Deer.

feral cat

At night, if you look above your head you may notice a bat or two flying around if you aren’t too enthralled by the gorgeous night sky. Just be careful not to put your hand or a bare foot down onto one of Hawaii’s notorious biting centipedes! These things pack a wicked bite that is supposed to be one of the most painful you will endure. Luckily, they are usually really big and red in color, so they are easy to spot if you are paying attention.

In the Ocean

If you swim in Kauai’s waters, it won’t be long before you start seeing some of the beautiful colorful fish this area of the world is known for. While snorkeling, you can see tons of exotic fish, such as Parrotfish and Butterflyfish. Sport fishers will also be excited to try to catch multiple notable species, like yellowfin tuna and Pacific blue marlin.

Sea turtles are often common to see while in or on the water. These majestic creatures are often seen on the ocean floor, swimming along, or popping their heads up between waves. If you get to swim in the water with one, it is a real treat!

NaPali Coast - Sea Turtles

Less likely, but equally as stunning to see if you happen upon them, are the Hawaiian Monk Seals. But, as one of the most critically endangered marine mammals on earth, there are strict rules about interacting with them. So, make sure to only take photos from afar.

More common are the various dolphin species seen while touring the waters of Kauai. Usually, while out on our boat tours we go looking for these beautiful creatures and often get lucky with a sighting. Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins tend to be the most common.

If you time your visit right, you may even see some Humpback Whales! From December through April, these enormous creatures can be seen along Kauai’s coast. Inquire about our whale-watching options when booking your Na Pali Coast tour!

Whale Watching Season in Kauai

Hoping you have a wild trip to Kauai, with lots of memorable animals sightings!

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