Best time to travel to Rarotonga & Cook Islands

Birdwatching during Breeding Season

Lonely uninhibited islands, sand cays, reef-islets, and bushlands hide a rich diversity of seabirds, endemic land birds, and migratory species. Get ready for an inspiring birdwatching trip!


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The Cook Islands are one place where you can find around 50 different bird species, six of which are endemic and ten are globally threatened. The best place to watch land birds is Atiu. You can easily find there an endemic Cook Island Fruit Dove or a Chattering Kingfisher.

One more important birding place on the Cook islands is the uninhabited Suwarrow Atoll. This is a national park which supports huge colonies of birds. Among them, you can find lesser frigatebirds and red-footed boobies.

Another seabird island is Takûtea. This is an uninhabited sand-cay, which is the country’s largest colony of red-tailed tropicbirds. The most well known and endangered bird on the Cook Islands is the Rarotonga Flycatcher. Local people call it Kakerori or Rarotonga Monarch. Kakerori can be found only in one special area, in a bushland of Takitumu in the southern part of Rarotonga. Seabirds nest and breed throughout the year, as the weather conditions are usually stable. For the rest of the birds that are visiting the island the breeding time is in June and December.

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