Atiu Birdwatching

Birdwatching in Atiu. Image courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism.

If you are looking for an island adventure with a difference, then look no further than the Island of Atiu. Just a scenic 45 minute flight from Rarotonga, this island paradise still has wild undisturbed tropical jungle, ancient limestone cliffs dotted with caves containing spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. What’s even more special about this island is the birdlife. Atiu is one of the few islands that have not been invaded by rats and other pests.

A visit to the island of Atiu will enable birdwatchers to discover a wider variety of landbirds than on any other island. Local guide Birdman George is employed under the TCA Kakerori (Rarotongan Flycatcher) Recovery programme, which is dedicated to ensuring the survival of this rare bird. He offers a tour that includes visits to the known territories of kakerori, which was introduced to the island from the Takitumu Conservation Area on Rarotonga. Visitors can also tour Anatakitaki Cave to hear the echo-locating click of the rare native Atiu swiftlet (kopeka), which uses sonar to navigate in the dark.