Third annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds on tap

  • Hawaii Island Festival of Birds/Courtesy Photo

KAILUA-KONA — The third annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds will take place Sept. 14-17, headquartered at Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay.

This year’s theme, “Back from the Brink: Hawaii’s Battle Against Extinction,” will showcase the herculean ongoing efforts to save Hawaii’s rarest bird species.

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Among programming during the four-day festivals is the Birds, Brews &Binos street fair celebration beginning at 5 p.m. Sept. 15 on Sheraton Kona’s oceanside lawn. The event includes food, handcrafted beers, premium wines, live music and silent and live auction items.

An original artwork block print donated by Caren Loebel-Fried will be featured among donations during the live auction Saturday evening. The print will be also available for sale as a poster and on T-shirts during Saturday’s Bird Fair 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., also at Sheraton Kona.

The block print by Loebel-Fried, depicts the last known wild Hawaiian crows, the Kalahiki Pair. Inspired by a Jack Jeffrey photograph, the rising sun background celebrates the recent release of captive-bred birds into the rainforest of Maunaloa and shines hope for the alala’s continued survival. According to a recent Washington Post article, of the six species of crows native to Hawaii, only the alala is left.

Other auction donations include binoculars valued at hundreds of dollars, hotel packages and activities.

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The festival concludes on Monday, Sept. 17 with an opportunity to protect and restore bird habitats with specific projects. Volunteers will assist at the Maunakea Forest Restoration Project or at Hawaii Wildlife Center during their Community Project Service Day. Detailed schedule of events and reservations available online at birdfesthawaii.org.

Beneficiaries of the four-day event include the Hawaii Wildlife Center and The Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Department of Forestry and Wildlife.