The Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds has added more events and speakers to its plans. The Festival, scheduled for the weekend of September 24-25 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, includes on site events on Saturday and field trips on Sunday.
Saturday’s workshops, including special programs for children, will be highlighted by talks from Brian Sullivan, project leader for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for eBird.org, Dr. Chris Farmer, Hawaii program director for the American Bird Conservancy, and a panel discussion by the Hawaii Forest Bird Survey crew. Noah Gomes, park ranger at Volcanoes National Park will also speak about traditional Hawaiian featherwork.
Saturday’s program options include a hands-on Photography Workshop with professional photographer Jack Jeffrey and a block-printing workshop with artist Gretchen Grove. Materials will be provided.
Saturday night’s Gala Dinner will be headlined by Dr. Sam Gon III speaking on the cultural and biological significance of Hawaii’s unique bird life.
A highlight of the first-ever Festival is Sunday’s “sneak peek” of the newly created Hawai’i Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail with field-trip van departures from the east end, at Hilo, or from the west, Kailua-Kona. Other options are a pelagic (sea) birding trip with biologist guides Brian Sullivan, Mike Scott and Lance Tanino, or a bird photography field trip with Jack Jeffrey.
“We are very pleased with the excellent reception we’ve had so far,” said Rob Pacheco (Hawaii Forest & Trail). “Not only are we enrolling participants from Hawaii, but birders from across the U.S. Mainland have expressed great interest in our program. The Festival is a boon to Hawai’i tourism, and it also will give our keiki (children) a chance to learn more about the nature of Hawai’i, with the help of experts who will be joining us to teach at the Festival. ”
Festival sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Alaska Airlines, Audubon Magazine, Hawaii Forest and Trail, Destination Marketing and others.
For more information and Festival registration, please visit the website hawaiibirdingtrails.com. Book before August 1st to take advantage of early-bird pricing for all Festival components.