Birding Festival to Celebrate New Trail

September 21, 2016, 12:59 PM HST
* Updated September 21, 1:18 PM
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Iiwi on akala.

The inaugural Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds – Ha’akula Manu will celebrate the opening of the new Hawaii Island Coast-to-Coast Birding Trail, the state’s first designated birding trail, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25, at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay and other Big Island locations.

Festival attendees will have opportunities to get a “birder’s eye view” of notable native Hawaiian bird species, such as the nene goose, amakihi (honey creeper), omao (thrush), elepaio (flycatcher) and more.

The festival will also feature family-friendly activities, guest speakers, land and sea birding tours, workshops, an art fair and more.

Keiki 15 and under free with a paid adult admission. General admission tickets can be bought at the door.

Sneak Peek tours on Sunday are sold out.


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Sheraton


9 – 9:15 a.m.: Hawaiian blessing

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.:  Activity Zone open with fun for the whole family

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Silent auction (artwork, activities, miscellaneous merchandise)


9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Informational and sales booths open

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.: Brian Sullivan,, “Digital Media for Birders”

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.: Noah Gomes, “Historic Hawaiian Birdcatching”

noon – 12:45 p.m.: Screening of Struggle for Existence, Laurie Sumiye’s award winning documentary about the recovery of the palila followed by question-and-answer session with the filmmaker

1 – 2 p.m.: Hawai‘i Forest Bird Survey Panel Discussion—”Past, Present, and Future of Hawaii’s Birds”

1 – 3 p.m.: Special exhibition of Hawaiian birds by artist Catherine Hamilton

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.: Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy—”Saving Hawaiian Birds: Concrete Actions to Prevent Further Extinctions”

3:30 – 4 p.m.: Contest and silent auction winners announced


  • Build a Bird Contest and other activities with prizes
  • Silent auction on Saturday during the day
  • Gala Dinner includes music by Danny Almonte, hula performance, keynote speaker Sam Gon (Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and a recognized Living Treasure of Hawaii), live and silent auctions
  • Some auction items include: multi-island guided birding trip on Kaua‘i, Maui, and Big Island (air, hotel, and car included); airfare and premium package to attend Verde Valley Birding Festival in Arizona next April; circle island helicopter tour; original art and unique bird photographs of native birds; and more.




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