Hawai`i Island

Festival of Birds

Hawai`i Island Festival of Birds – Ha`akula Manu 

Celebrate Hawaii’s unique blend of birds – from native honeycreepers found nowhere else in the world to common backyard birds from five continents. The annual Hawai`i Island Festival of Birds supports the Hawai`i Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail and the Hawai`i Wildlife Center.

The Trail’s 90-mile cross-island route links a remarkably varied set of locales featuring a broad representation of island birdlife, nature, geology, history, and scenic vistas. Rising from sea level to 7,000 feet and back again between the two tallest mountains on earth, the trail passes through desert with a few inches of rain annually and through tropical rainforest with nearly 300 inches of rainfall a year. Imagine the trail’s diversity of landscapes and climates matched by the diversity of birds including endangered waterbirds and forest birds, migratory waterfowl and shorebirds including such notable species as Nēnē, Hawaii `Amakihi, `Ōmao, Hawai`i `Elepaio, `Apapane, `I`iwi, Hawaiian Hawk, Hawaiian Coot, and the endemic sub-species of the Black-necked Stilt, and Short-eared Owl (Pueo), and numerous established non-native species.

The Hawai`i Wildlife Center is a state- and region-wide wildlife response and conservation organization. Our programs include disaster response and responder training, contingency planning, research and hands-on wildlife rehabilitation at our wildlife hospital in Kapa`au on Hawai`i Island. The vision of the Hawai`i Wildlife Center is a world where native species recover and thrive through comprehensive conservation strategies and partnerships.

The Hawai`i Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of protecting, conserving, and aiding in the recovery of Hawaii’s native wildlife through hands-on treatment, research, training, science education and cultural programs. The HWC is the first organization of its kind exclusively for native Hawaiian wildlife and provides state-of-the-art care and rehabilitation for native animals as well as comprehensive wildlife rescue training and public education and outreach programs. The HWC is not a zoo or a preserve, it is a professional organization that focuses on treating and rehabilitating sick, injured and oiled wildlife for release back into the wild

Who Should Come

The Hawai`i Island Festival of Birds – Ha`akula Manu is a place where residents and island visitors with all levels of interest in birding and nature study can come together to discover and celebrate the diversity of Hawaii’s birdlife and the habitats that support them. If you’re a resident of the island (including students) with a desire to experience the wild and natural resources of your island home, an avid birding and nature tour group in search of Hawaii’s wildlife, or a casual nature enthusiast visiting the island, we’d love to see you at the annual Hawai`i Island Festival of Birds – Ha`akula Manu.

Want to volunteer?

We welcome volunteers!  Please contact us at info@birdfesthawaii.org with your availability.

Weather Considerations

Weather in Kailua-Kona is predictably perfect at around 78 degrees, but you may want to bring layers of clothing for our tours. Some tours will visit sites at cooler elevations and a jacket or long pants and rain gear may be advisable. Evening temperatures near Waimea (location of Waiki`i Ranch Clubhouse) can be refreshingly brisk, so keeping a sweater on hand is a good idea. The pelagic birding tours are subject to ocean conditions on that day. An alternative land-based experience or refund of ticket price will be offered if conditions force cancellation.

Cancellation Policy

A confirmation letter will be sent by email. Because space is limited at all events, there are no refunds for cancellations within 45 days. However tickets are transferable with proof of purchase.

Trail Tours on Your Own

For those who prefer to drive themselves, you can check out the trail website at hawaiibirdingtrails.com. Because we’d like to ensure a quality guided experience for those who purchase a tour ticket by keeping the group size small, we ask that those who are touring on their own avoid joining a van group they may encounter along the Trail.

What’s a Birdie Buck?

Birdie Bucks are our way of saying thank you for supporting the Hawai`i Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail. With your Bird Fair general admission ticket purchase, you will receive $5 in Birdie Bucks that can be redeemed at any vendor booth or towards any silent auction item (available at the front door with proof of ticket purchase). They have no other cash value and cannot be exchanged for cash.

Who’s in Charge?

A steering committee of committed volunteers has taken on planning, fundraising, and implementation. If you would like to become involved, or have further questions, please email us at info@birdfesthawaii.org.

Birding Ethics

1. Keep your distance.

  • Use binoculars, telephoto lenses, or spotting scopes to get a good look without approaching the bird.
  • If the bird is reacting to your presence, you’re too close. Back away and give it time to settle down. Do not approach or attempt to flush birds from resting or feeding spots.
  • Patience will usually be rewarded.

2. Keep the mute on.

  • Avoid playback devices or loud talking.
  • Carry a cell phone, but turn it off when on the trail.
  • Blend into the background (unless it’s a hunting area where you’ll want to be easily seen).

3. Keep healthy and safe.

  • Stay hydrated and wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Park only in designated areas.
  • Pull off the road completely before stopping and only on paved shoulders. Do not pull off over grass, especially in the dry season.

4. Keep aloha alive.

  • Respect private property and do not trespass.
  • Carry out whatever you carry in and pick up after others who may not be aware they’ve left something behind.
  • Be considerate of others and share your sightings.
  • Participate in conservation projects to keep island habitats healthy.
  • Take action to avoid spreading Rapid Ohia Death and invasive plants.

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