Solomon Islands

Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini ©Pete Morris Website
Birding The Solomons

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.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 289

  • Number of endemics: (81) 26 Non-passerines

    Sanford's Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi Imitator Sparrowhawk Accipiter imitator Woodford's Rail Nesoclopeus woodfordi Roviana Rail Gallirallus rovianae San Cristobal Moorhen Gallinula silvestris 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 Ducorps's Cockatoo Cacatua ducorpsii Yellow-bibbed Lory Lorius chlorocercus Meek's Lorikeet Charmosyna meeki Duchess Lorikeet Charmosyna margarethae Buff-headed Coucal Centropus milo Solomon Islands Hawk-Owl Ninox jacquinoti Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis Solomon's Frogmouth Rigidpenna inexpectata Solomon's Nightjar Eurostopodus nigripennis North Solomons Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx meeki New Georgia Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx collectoris Guadalcanal Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx nigromaxilla Makira Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx gentianus Ultramarine Kingfisher Todiramphus leucopygius Moustached Kingfisher Actenoides bougainvillei
  • Number of endemics: (81) 55 Passerines

    Black-faced Pitta Pitta anerythra Solomon Islands Cuckooshrike Coracina holopolia Makira (San Cristobal) Thrush Zoothera margaretae Shade Bush Warbler Horornis parens Bougainville Bush Warbler Horornis haddeni Bougainville Thicketbird Megalurulus llaneae Makira (San Cristobal) Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus makirensis Sombre Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus amoenus White-winged Fantail Rhipidura cockerelli Brown Fantail Rhipidura drownei Dusky Fantail Rhipidura tenebrosa Rennell Fantail Rhipidura rennelliana Malaita Fantail Rhipidura malaitae Vanikoro Monarch Mayrornis schistaceus Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini Bougainville Monarch Monarcha erythrostictus Chestnut-bellied Monarch Monarcha castaneiventris White-capped Monarch Monarcha richardsii Kulambangra Monarch Monarcha browni White-collared Monarch Monarcha viduus Solomons Monarch Symposiarchrus barbatus Steel-blue Flycatcher Myiagra ferrocyanea Ochre-headed Flycatcher Myiagra cervinicauda Hooded Whistler Pachycephala implicata Temotu Whistler Pachycephala vanikorensis Midget Flowerpecker Dicaeum aeneum Mottled Flowerpecker Dicaeum tristrami Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus Vella Lavella Zosterops vellalavella Ganongga White-eye Zosterops splendidus Gizo White-eye Zosterops luteirostris Yellow-throated White-eye Zosterops metcalfii Solomons White-eye Zosterops kulambangrae Dark-eyed White-eye Zosterops tetiparius Kolombangara White-eye Zosterops murphyi Grey-throated White-eye Zosterops rendovae Malaita White-eye Zosterops stresemanni Santa Cruz White-eye Zosterops santaecrucis Vanikoro White-eye Zosterops gibbsi Bare-eyed White-eye Woodfordia superciliosa Sanford's White-eye Zosterops lacertosa Bougainville Honeyeater Stresemannia bougainvillei Scarlet-naped Myzomela Myzomela lafargei Yellow-vented Myzomela Myzomela eichhorni Red-bellied Myzomela Myzomela malaitae Black-headed Myzomela Myzomela melanocephala Sooty Myzomela Myzomela tristrami Guadalcanal Honeyeater Guadalcanaria inexpectata San Cristobal Melidectes Melidectes sclateri Guadalcanal Crow Corvus woodfordi Bougainville Crow Corvus meeki Rennell Starling Aplonis insularis White-eyed Starling Aplonis brunneicapilla Brown-winged Starling Aplonis grandis San Cristobal Starling Aplonis dichroa

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Useful Reading

  • Birds and Bird Lore of Bougainville and the North Solomons

    By Don Hadden | Dove Publications | 2001 | Paperback | 312 pages, Maps, colour photos | ISBN: 9780959025750 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Melanesia

    (Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia ) | By Guy Dutson | Christopher Helm | 2011 | Paperback | 447 pages | 75 colour plates | colour photos | colour maps | black & white illustrations | tables | ISBN: 9780713665406 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia

    by Chris Doughty, Nicholas Day & Andrew Plant | Christopher Helm | 1999 | Paperback | 206 pages, 91 colour plates, 340 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780713646900 Buy this book from
  • PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library

    Solomon Islands

Abbreviations Key

  • Arnarvon Islands - Community-Managed Conservation Area

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Arnarvon Islands are located in the Manning Straits, midway between Choiseul and Isabel Islands, two large mountainous islands in the Solomon Archipelago…
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2014 [07 July] - Petri Hottola

    PDF Report
    Common Mynas dominated the street-side scene and dozens of them also roosted at the hotel. A pair ofWillie Wagtails had a nest in the garden, with a pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds in the neighborhood. Up inthe sky, three White-rumped Swiftlets were hawking for insects. There were, however, also someMelanesian goodies around. In the morning, I spotted my first Pied Goshawk (pied morph), a pair ofYellow-bibbed Lories and another pair of Cardinal Lories. In the evening, a Guadalcanal Boobook wascalling on the forested ridge above and to the west of the hotel. According to some trip reports, they alsooccur further in the same direction, around the botanical garden....
  • 2015 [05 May] - Phil Gregory

    Report PDF
    ...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.
  • 2017 [07 July] - Charles Davies

    I joined a Birdquest tour to Solomons in July 2017 (led by Mark Van Beirs and Josh Bergmark) that visited a number of the islands, including the highlands of Makira. All of the mountain areas in the Solomons are extremely complicated to reach, and Birdquest organizes the only birding tour that visits them regularly (every two years).
  • 2017 [08 August] - Mark van Beirs

    PDF Report
    Magnificent, but often skulking birds. Mud, sweat, slippery trails, steep mountains, shaky logistics, and an airline with a dubious reputation. This is what the Solomon Islands tour is all about, but these forgotten islands in the southwest Pacific hold some glorious, very rarely observed birds that very few birders will ever have the privilege to add to their lifelist
  • 2019 [09 September] - Joshua Bergmark

    PDF Report
    Magnificent, but often skulking birds. Mud, sweat, extended slippery treks, steep mountains, shaky logistics, and constant battles with land access. This is what a Solomon Islands tour is all about.
Places to Stay

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Heritage Park Hotel

    The Heritage Park Hotel opened its doors in August 2009 on the former historical site of the Governor General’s residence in the center of Honiara. Its design blends with its aesthetic cultural heritage and recreates with state-of-art architecture, a contemporary grace set on 5 acres of prime waterfront land of private park like setting with mature trees and tranquil landscaped gardens.
Other Links
  • 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
  • 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

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