This sliver of forest on Maui is a wonderful spot to find native honeycreepers as well as Hawaiian Goose (Nene) and the native subspecies of Short-eared Owl (Pueo).
By Lance Tanino | Published: 8/22/2017
For more than a century, this grove of experimental silviculture of eucalyptus, pines, and other conifers has sat at the edge of a native wet montane forest and open native shrubland on the slopes of the Haleakala Volcano, at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. The grove is my go-to place on Maui to view endemic Hawaiian honeycreepers. At any time of year, you might see Maui ‘Alauahio, ‘Apapane, ‘I’iwi, and Hawai’i ‘Amakihi as well as the state bird, the Hawaiian Goose (Nene) and the native subspecies of Short-eared Owl (Pueo) in the parking area, campground, and along the short loop trail that winds through the grove and open native shrub vegetation. Approximately 40 bird species have been recorded here. Non-natives you may encounter include Ring-necked Pheasant, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Japanese White-Eye, Chinese Hwamei, and Red-billed Leiothrix.
My favorite section along the loop trail is an area overlooking a gulch full of native wet montane trees and shrubs — natural Hawaiian honeycreeper bird feeders. Keep a lookout for ‘Amakihi, ‘Apapane, and ‘I’iwi taking nectar from the flowering ‘Ohia trees with their red pompom-like lehua (flowers) and yellow flowers of the endemic Mamane trees. — Lance Tanino
At a Glance
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Introduced forest, native wet montane forest, and native open shrubland.
Well-maintained 0.5-mile loop trail at approximately 7,000 feet. Hike not strenuous but involves gradual uphill climb and narrow pathways.
Year-round: Hawaiian Goose, Chukar, Ring-necked Pheasant, Short-eared Owl, Eurasian Skylark, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Japanese White-Eye, Chinese Hwamei, Red-billed Leiothrix, Common Myna, Northern Cardinal, Maui ‘Alauahio, ‘Apapane, ‘I’iwi, Hawai’i ‘Amakihi, House Finch, House Sparrow. August through April: Pacific Golden-Plover.
When to go
Year-round. March through June is best. Go in early morning before clouds and winds increase later in the day.
Restrooms (pit toilets) and campsites available; limited to 50 people, with 12-person group limit. A person may camp up to three nights per month.
National park. Fees apply (www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/fees.htm). Open year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except during severe weather.
Be prepared for sunny, warm to cloudy, or wet conditions. Temperature can range from 80°F during the day to 30°F at night. If you’re camping, it’s possible to hear Hawaiian Petrel at night.
For more info
Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary
27 miles from Hosmer Grove in Kahului. ‘Ae’o (Hawai’i’s subspecies of Black-necked Stilt) and ‘Alae Ke’oke’o (Hawaiian Coot) year-round.
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
32.5 miles from Hosmer Grove along the south-central coast between the towns of Kihei and Maalaea. Home to the largest population of ‘Ae’o and ‘Alae Ke’oke’o.