This Hawaiian festival, now in its 5th year, is perfect for birders

HONOLULU — Plans are well underway for the Fifth Annual Hawai`i Island Festival of Birds, taking place this fall with the goal of increasing awareness of the endemic and endangered birds of Hawaii.

The four-day event is scheduled to take place Oct. 15 – 19, 2020, headquartered at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in historic Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The 2020 theme is ‘Wanderers and Migrants – Celebrating Hawaii’s Avian Voyagers’ and will focus on and raise awareness of the remarkable number of migratory and accidental avian visitors that arrive in Hawaii each year.

“We are incredibly encouraged by the wide-ranging support of HIFB,” said Debbie Anderson, festival co-chair and founder, and president of Destination Marketing Hawaii.

“Now in its fifth year, we feel we have developed a well-balanced agenda ideal for anyone interested in learning more about Hawaii’s unique avian populations.”

HIFB’s special guest at the 2020 event will be Jason Ward, community relations and outreach coordinator for the National Audubon Society. Ward is an American naturalist, birder, activist, and host of the 2019 TV documentary series ‘Birds of North America’.

Anderson says that while programming for the 2019 festival was limited due to uncertainty of access into key native forest habitat and other mitigating factors over festival dates, attendees nonetheless enjoyed a variety of guided birding excursions. This year’s lineup is already slated to include guided field trips and pelagic boat tours aboard Fair Wind’s Hula Kai, a Saturday Bird Fair with educational booths, local arts and crafts, birdwatching optics store and showcase, a keiki (kids) corner, educational talks and panel discussions.

An evening presentation, ‘The Seabirds of Traditional Hawaiian Navigation’, will include storytelling, hula and Hawaiian song.

Festival beneficiaries 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.

Sponsors of the Hawaii Island Festival of Birds include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Hawaii Forest & Trail, Destination Marketing, Hawaii Wildlife Center and Alaska Airlines.

Schedules, event information and registration are available online at

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