Hawaii Island Festival of Birds Welcomes All

The Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds – Ha`akula Manu – is pleased to announce that, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, local keiki (children) 15 and under accompanied by an adult with a paid general admission ticket can attend the festival for FREE!  Adult entry is $10 and includes $5 of Birdie Bucks coupons that can be spent on items at the vendor booths and silent auction.

Bird Festival 2016The Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds is an opportunity for Big Island keiki to increase their knowledge of birds and their habitats. The festival will highlight the important role played by birds in Hawaiian culture, the need to preserve and restore our island’s unique habitats critical to these birds’ survival, and help children learn that birding is a just like a real life, fun version of Pokemon-Go!

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. The Saturday, September 24 events held at the Sheraton Kona will include educational seminars, bird-related trade and arts booths, and fun activities for the whole family. The seminars will be stimulating for adults and teens, while younger ones will enjoy the hands-on activities related to Hawaii’s unique birds. General admission tickets can be purchased at the door.

Sunday activities include guided birdwatching field trips hosted by Hawaii Forest & Trail, a bird photography tour hosted by Jack Jeffrey, and a guided boat trip out of Honokohau Harbor to watch seabirds with on-board pelagic leaders Lance Tanino, Brian Sullivan and Mike Scott. Tours are already discounted to $150 with no additional discount for keiki or kama’aina. Space is limited on field trips, so register now if you would like to take advantage of this great deal (includes transportation, lunch, dinner, and guides).

Here are a few of the family-oriented activities everyone can participate in at the Festival:

  • Build a Bird Contest – Create a unique bird out of supplied materials to keep or enter into a contest to win a T-shirt.
  • Birdwatching Basics – Here’s how to get started on a new hobby that can turn into a lifelong passion (may also be used as partial fulfillment for Scout merit badge requirements).
  • Where in the World? – See if you can identify the original homes of our island birds (hint: some are found only here in Hawaii!).
  • Trivial Pursuit – Our own island bird edition.
  • Birds and Beaks – Take a close-up look at how the beaks of our island birds are adapted for the foods they find here.

“The Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds, with the help of experts who will be joining us to teach, will give our keiki a chance to learn more about the birds of Hawaii,” said Hawaii Forest & Trails’s Rob Pacheco.  “The learning is just a first step though.  Through learning, kids gain an appreciation and develop a fascination with birds, which then, often leads to a lifelong affair with nature.”

Festival sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Alaska Airlines, Audubon Magazine, Hawaii Forest and Trail, Destination Marketing Hawaii and others.

For more information and Festival registration, please visit the website hawaiibirdingtrails.com.

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