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Hawai'i Island

Festival of Birds

Please join us September 15th through 18th, 2017!

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Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds

2017 Schedule

Friday 9.15.17

Our festival opens with a full day of guided field trips along the Hawai’i Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail. If you prefer, take to the sea for a pelagic tour. In the evening, enjoy a bird themed film festival.

Saturday 9.16.17

After a breakfast bird walk, come to our festival of artists, speakers, vendors and keiki activities promising fun for the whole family. Our gala dinner will feature a keynote speech by Kenn Kaufman and a live auction.

Sunday 9.17.17

Gear up for another full day of guided field trips by land or sea. Take part in a photography workshop in the field and join us for a Pau Hana BBQ dinner at the stunning Waiki’i Ranch.

Monday 9.18.17

Stay tuned for information about more field trips, Big Day birding vans and organized conservation service opportunities.

2016 Inaugural Festival Highlights

Bird Catching and Featherwork in Ancient Hawai'i

Noah Gomes gave a fascinating presentation analyzing ancient Hawaiian techniques for catching birds. Noah revealed how he plumbed traditional Hawaiian language chants, songs and prayers for scientific and cultural insights. We learned that Hawaiians developed mist net techniques and created ceremonial works of art of unrivaled sophistication and beauty. Noah’s message is to build bridges with the land and to each other; historical and cultural understanding inspires us to conserve and restore native habitats.

Pelagic Tour

A group of lucky festival attendees took to the open ocean to seek out pelagic birds found near Hawai’i Island. One of the highlights was the rare sighting of a sperm whale!

Other birds that may be seen are:

Mottled Petrel (Pterodroma inexpectata)
Juan Fernandez Petrel (Pterodroma externa)
Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), ‘Ua’u
Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis)
Bulwer’s Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii), ‘Ou
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica), ‘Ua’u kani
Buller’s Shearwater (Ardenna bulleri)
Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea)
White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus), Koa’e kea
Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), ‘Iwa
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), ‘A
Red-footed Booby (Sula sula rubripes), ‘A
Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus)
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus), Noio koha
Black Noddy (Anous minutus), Noio
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus), ‘ewa’ewa
White Tern (Gygis alba), Manu-O-Ku

Bird Trail Introduction

The festival is dedicated to supporting the Hawai’i Coast to Coast Birding Trail. Attendees got a first look at the trail map Saturday and enjoyed sneak peak trips to the trails with expert bird guides on Sunday.

Artist Catherine Hamilton

Catherine Hamilton presented a special exhibition of her Hawaiian bird series. Catherine discussed the intensive study that goes into her artwork with a particular focus on Hawaiian endemics.You can stay in touch with Catherine at her blog.

12 x 12 "Koa" Original Woodcut Print from Andrea Pro's Hawaii Heritage Plant Series

Keiki Zone Activities

Our indefatigable, dedicated and ever-resourceful Festival Event Manager Lisa Brochu designed an amazing array of keiki activities that were enjoyed by families, festival staff and volunteers alike. All were entertained by the build-a-bird craft tables, bird trivia competitions, face painting and more. Keiki who completed all the activities were entered into a drawing for an adorable plush bird.

Artist Laurie Sumiye

Laurie Sumiye screened her moving film, “Struggle for Existence.” The film is set in 2025. A woman journeys to Hawai`i to see the last 5 Palila. The film questions how life is valued and preserved by man as a species nears extinction, and considers how Darwin’s theory of natural selection counters our human instinct to “save nature.” Check out Laurie’s diverse works at her website.

Guided Breakfast with the Birds

Lucky festival attendees enjoyed guided tours with Lance Tanino and Rob Pacheco around the beautiful resort grounds. These were great for inexperienced birders and those that are always birding.

Jack Jeffrey Shares Mana`o

The legendary Jack Jeffrey shared with us his intimate knowledge of Hawaii’s hidden valleys, remote rainforests and rare birds. Jack led an informative hands-on bird photography workshop, led a panel discussion on the Hawaii Forest Bird Survey and guided lucky attendees on a highlight tour of the Hawai’i Island Coast to Coast Bird Trail. Jack is the recipient of the prestigious National Sierra Club 2002 Ansel Adams’ Award for Conservation Photography, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Recovery Champion Award, Nature Conservancy of Hawaii Kako’o `Aina Award, Hawaii Chapter Sierra Club Conservationist of the Year Award, and Hawaii Audubon Society Conservationist of the Year Award. Check out Jack’s site for more amazing bird images.