I will be holidaying in Fiji toward the end of the year
and would appreciate any information on good birding sites
on Vita Levu and Taveuni. Are there any good field guides
for the region?
Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre
Street Address: 150 Lonsdale Street MELBOURNE Vic 3001
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It is more than 20 years since we lived in Fiji, but I have not seen any
responses to your request so here is a little that I hope will be a help.
I have been back for two two-month visits in the eighties.
On Viti Levu
the bush around Joske's Thumb about 20 km wet of Suva has a good range of
bush birds, including the Pink-billed Parrot Finch.
You will see White-rumped Swiftlets everywhere, but if you want to locate a
breeding cave 12 miles from Suva I can give directions.
The Highland forests around Nadarivatu in the mid north of Viti-levu is a
cooler spot which proved a good location for mistnetting even more species
than near Joske's Thumb.
If you want to see waders the sand bars around the mouth of the Rewa River
are a good spot, but you need to hire a small boat to get there.
The Fiji Warbler is patchy in its distribution, but we used to find it on
the campus of Fulton College on Kings Road near Korovou.
The National Park near Suva has some birds.
The Pacific Swallow is more common on the West side of Viti Levu, but you
used to be able to see it at the first big bridge just west of Suva.
You can also find Black-naped Terns breeding on the little inshore islets
called Vatu Lami, just out from Korovou.
Some of the endemics are found only on the smaller islands such as Kadavu,
Seabirds are best on Vatu-i-Ra (half way between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu),
and Mabulau, (not far from Suva). At night many seabirds sleep on these
islands, and if it is during the breeding season (which is two months
earlier each year) there will be plenty there during the day.
you will find the Australian Magpie, and a few that are more interesting,
but I found the smaller islands just to the east of Taveuni, were more
likely to have the Fiji Peregrine, and White-tailed Tropicbird.
If you can get out to Vanua Balavu, Cikobia-i-Lau and Sovu, you can find
breeding seabirds on the wooded islands (Red-footed Boobies, WTTB) and on
the sand bars (Sooty Terns, White-naped Terns, Crested Terns, Masked &
Brown Boobies, and Bridled Terns)
Mercer, R. 1966. A Field Guide To Fiji Birds. Suva. Unavailable for a long
Clunie, Fergus, 1984. The Bush Birds of Fiji, Fiji Museum. I am not sure
whether this one is still available.
Watling, D. 1982. Birds of Fiji, Tonga, & Samoa. Millwood Press,
Wellington. But also available from Andrew Isles.
Hope this is of some help
Pacific Adventist University
Papua New Guinea.