Hawai‘i Island Bird Festival Returns in September

June 9, 2018, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated June 8, 12:41 PM
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I‘iwi, ‘ABA Bird of the Year’ in 2018. PC: Jack Jeffrey photography.

The Third Annual Hawai‘i Island Festival of Birds will be held from Sept. 14 through 17 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

This year’s theme, “Back from the Brink: Hawai‘i’s Battle Against Extinction,” will highlight endangered species recovery efforts throughout the state.

The event will include a film festival, birding excursions, evening talk-story events and fellowship among local naturalists and bird experts.

Saturday, Sept. 15 will begin with a Community Bird Fair featuring speakers who are working to preserve Hawai‘i’s endangered birds. Tim Appleton, founder of the world famous British Birdfair, will join a panel discussion on nene, Hawai‘i’s endangered state bird. Appleton, who worked with Sir Peter Scott at The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the United Kingdom, will discuss the trust’s work throughout the 1950’s with captive breeding—a crucial technique that saved the nene.

The festival will end on Monday, Sept. 17, and offer participants an opportunity to protect and restore native bird habitats. Volunteer projects will include support at the Maunakea Forest Restoration Project, or at Hawai‘i Wildlife Center during the nonprofit’s Community Project Service Day.


“For the first time in history, the American Birding Association recognized Hawai‘i’s extraordinary native birdlife by naming the i‘iwi as ‘ABA Bird of the Year’ in 2018,” said festival committee co-chair Cindy Pacheco. “In recognizing the i‘iwi and other Hawai‘i honeycreepers, they also noted that Hawai‘i’s species are the best examples of adaptation on the planet. Our 2018 Festival celebrates this recognition while drawing important attention to the perils these species face.”


For a detailed schedule of events, visit


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