The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. Together they cover a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres (10,965 sq mi). The capital is Honiara, located on the island of Guadalcanal.
The Solomon Islands is a wide island nation that lies East of Papua New Guinea and consists of many islands: Choiseul, the Shortland Islands; the New Georgia Islands; Santa Isabel; the Russell Islands; Nggela (the Florida Islands); Malaita; Guadalcanal; Sikaiana; Maramasike; Ulawa; Uki; Makira (San Cristobal); Santa Ana; Rennell and Bellona; the Santa Cruz Islands and three remote, tiny outliers, Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka. The distance between the westernmost and easternmost islands is about 1,500 kilometres (930 mi).
The Santa Cruz Islands (of which Tikopia is part), are situated north of Vanuatu and are especially isolated at more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the other islands. Bougainville is geographically part of the Solomon Islands, but politically Papua New Guinea.
The islands' ocean-equatorial climate is extremely humid throughout the year, with a mean temperature of 27 °C (80 °F) and few extremes of temperature or weather. June through August is the cooler period. Though seasons are not pronounced, the northwesterly winds of November through April bring more frequent rainfall and occasional squalls or cyclones. The annual rainfall is about 3050 mm (120 in).
The Solomon Islands archipelago is part of two distinct terrestrial ecoregions. Most of the islands are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests ecoregion, which also includes the islands of Bougainville and Buka, which are part of Papua New Guinea, these forests have come under pressure from forestry activities. The Santa Cruz Islands are part of the Vanuatu rain forests ecoregion, together with the neighboring archipelago of Vanuatu. Soil quality ranges from extremely rich volcanic (there are volcanoes with varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands) to relatively infertile limestone. More than 230 varieties of orchids and other tropical flowers brighten the landscape.
The islands contain several active and several dormant volcanoes. The Tinakula and Kavachi volcanoes are the most active.
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Number of Species
Number of bird species: 278
Number of endemics: 69 (21 non-passerines & 48 passerines)
Ultramarine Kingfisher Todiramphus leucopygius Moustached Kingfisher Actenoides bougainvillei Buff-headed Coucal Centropus milo Ducorps's Cockatoo Cacatua ducorpsii Yellow-bibbed Lory Lorius chlorocercus Meek's Lorikeet Charmosyna meeki Duchess Lorikeet Charmosyna margarethae Solomon Islands Hawk-Owl Ninox jacquinoti Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis Crested Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena crassirostris Thick-billed Ground-Dove Gallicolumba salamonis Silver-capped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus richardsii White-headed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus eugeniae Chestnut-bellied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula brenchleyi Pale Mountain-Pigeon Gymnophaps solomonensis Woodford's Rail Nesoclopeus woodfordi Roviana Rail Gallirallus rovianae San Cristobal Moorhen Gallinula silvestris Sanford's Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi Imitator Sparrowhawk Accipiter imitator Beck's Petrel Pterodroma becki Black-faced Pitta Pitta anerythra Scarlet-naped Myzomela Myzomela lafargei Yellow-vented Myzomela Myzomela eichhorni Black-headed Myzomela Myzomela melanocephala Red-bellied Myzomela Myzomela malaitae Sooty Myzomela Myzomela tristrami Bougainville Honeyeater Stresemannia bougainvillei Guadalcanal Honeyeater Guadalcanaria inexpectata San Cristobal Melidectes Melidectes sclateri Hooded Whistler Pachycephala implicata Bougainville Crow Corvus meeki White-billed Crow Corvus woodfordi Solomon Islands Cuckooshrike Coracina holopolia White-winged Fantail Rhipidura cockerelli Brown Fantail Rhipidura drownei Dusky Fantail Rhipidura tenebrosa Rennell Fantail Rhipidura rennelliana Malaita Fantail Rhipidura malaitae Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini Bougainville Monarch Monarcha erythrostictus Chestnut-bellied Monarch Monarcha castaneiventris White-capped Monarch Monarcha richardsii Black-and-white Monarch Monarcha barbatus Kulambangra Monarch Monarcha browni White-collared Monarch Monarcha viduus Steel-blue Flycatcher Myiagra ferrocyanea Ochre-headed Flycatcher Myiagra cervinicauda San Cristobal Thrush Zoothera margaretae Rennell Starling Aplonis insularis Brown-winged Starling Aplonis grandis San Cristobal Starling Aplonis dichroa White-eyed Starling Aplonis brunneicapilla Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus Banded White-eye Zosterops vellalavella Ganongga White-eye Zosterops splendidus Splendid White-eye Zosterops luteirostris Solomon Islands White-eye Zosterops kulambangrae Hermit White-eye Zosterops murphyi Yellow-throated White-eye Zosterops metcalfii Grey-throated White-eye Zosterops rendovae Malaita White-eye Zosterops stresemanni Bare-eyed White-eye Woodfordia superciliosa Shade Warbler Cettia parens San Cristobal Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus makirensis Sombre Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus amoenus Bougainville Thicketbird Megalurulus llaneae Midget Flowerpecker Dicaeum aeneum Mottled Flowerpecker Dicaeum tristrami
Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Birds and Bird Lore of Bougainville and the North Solomons
Don Hadden, Dove 2001
ISBN: 0959025758Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia
by Chris Doughty, Nicholas Day & Andrew Plant Softcover. A&C Black, 1999
ISBN: 071364690XBuy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Melanesia: Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia
By Guy Dutson | 447 pages | 75 colour plates | colour photos | colour maps | black & white illustrations | tables | Christopher Helm | Softcover | 2011
ISBN: 9780713665406Buy this book from NHBS.com
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2009 [09 September] - Mark Van Beirs
Our 2009 Solomon Islands tour will be remembered by its participants by the copious and unseasonal amounts of rain and mud, the sometimes brutally steep, slippery trails, the painful ‘trenchfoot’, the dark, gloomy straw house on Makira, the tough hike and wet overnight high on Kolombangara volcano, the splendidly performing ‘out of this world’ Solomon Islands Frogmouth, the stealthy, beautiful and very rarely seen Black-faced Pitta and the great looks at extraordinary Solomon Sea Eagles…
2007 [10 October] - Mark Van Beirs
Rain, mud, sweat, steep mountains, shy, skulky birds, shaky logistics and an airline with a dubious reputation, that is what the Solomon Islands tour is all about, but these forgotten islands in the southwest Pacific also hold some very rarely observed birds that very few birders will ever have the privilege to add to their lifelist…
2013 [09 September] - Mark Van Beirs
…Highlights included Pied Goshawk, Sanford’s Sea Eagle, Roviana Rail, Red-backed Buttonquail, White-headed Fruit Dove, Solomons Cockatoo, Finsch’s Pygmy Parrot, Yellow-bibbed Lory, Buff-headed Coucal, Ultramarine Kingfisher, Black-headed, Sooty and Crimson-rumped Myzomelas, Rennell Whistler, Rennell Shrikebill, Bare-eyed White-Eye and a splendid selection of white-eyes from different islands….
2011 [11 November] - Sicklebill Safaris
…A Nicobar Pigeon on an island near Matikuri was a highlight for Jun here, the small island was full of breeding pigeons, as well as Beach Kingfishr, Melanesian Megapode and other birds….
2014 [07 July] - Petri Hottola
Common Mynas dominated the street-side scene and dozens of them also roosted at the hotel. A pair of Willie Wagtails had a nest in the garden, with a pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds in the neighborhood. Up in the sky, three White-rumped Swiftlets were hawking for insects. There were, however, also some Melanesian goodies around. In the morning, I spotted my first Pied Goshawk (pied morph), a pair of Yellow-bibbed Lories and another pair of Cardinal Lories. In the evening, a Guadalcanal Boobook was calling on the forested ridge above and to the west of the hotel. According to some trip reports, they also occur further in the same direction, around the botanical garden....
2015 [07 July] - Mark Van Beirs
The indisputable Birds of the Trip of the 2015 Solomon Islands tour were Black-faced Pitta, Fearful Owl and Solomons Frogmouth. The pitta because it took several days of hard work to finally see it and the reward was the most amazing eye-ball to eye-ball encounter I have ever had with this very difficult pitta.
2015 [05 May] - Phil Gregory
...being shown a Fearful Owl at nest site early on after a tough slippery walk over sharp limestone ricks, then finding a Black-faced Pitta in a forest patch by the track and getting great views of it. We had a field lunch of tuna and rice, and were back at the village by 1300. I tried for Santa Isabel Rail that afternoon and got to hear one or two calling from a dense thicket.
Places to Stay
Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel - Guadalcanal
From the hotel, it is possible to arrange flights to more than 20 of the outer islands or to join the off-the-beaten-track travellers and venture into the wilds of the country, dive further afield to coral reefs and war wrecks, observe the diversity of Melanesian culture, fish and sightsee among the great battlegrounds of the Pacific…
The Nature Conservancy - Solomon Islands Program
The Solomon Islands are ranked among the top 10 most biologically diverse and imperiled nations in the world. Their coral reefs contain extraordinarily diverse and valuable marine resources and, with the exception of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands have the greatest diversity of vertebrate species of all Pacific Island nations…
PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library
The Solomon Islands contain a wide variety of rainforest types. Each island has something unique about its environment and its plant and animal life. The islands' lush forests contain 4,500 species of plants, 230 of which are different varieties of orchid, some not found anywhere else on Earth. Among the thick swaths of vegetation, over 170 species of birds can be found, some unique to the Solomon Islands as well…
Solomon Island Eclectus Eclectus roratus solomensis
The lovely Solomon Island Eclectus is a bit smaller than the Vosmaeri Eclectus. As with other Eclectus species, the male is green and the female is red and blue…
Solomon Islands Crowned Pigeon Microgoura meeki
One of the Fifty Rarest Birds of the World…
Wetlands and Forest Ecosystems of the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands attracts immense interest from the international community due to the uniqueness, diversity and biological significance of its natural environment. Solomon Islands' forests form part of the belt of tropical rainforest that covers only 7 percent of the Earth's surface but that accommodates 70 percent to nearly 90 percent of all species of plants and animals…