Categorized | Environment

Tour features some of the rarest birds on Earth (April 16)


The Hawaiian Islands are home to bird species that are found nowhere else on earth. The Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC) in Volcano is one of two centers operated by the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research as part of its Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program.

Using intensive captive propagation and release techniques, the program aims to reestablish self-sustaining populations of critically endangered birds in the wild.

The Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP) is offering a tour of KBCC, which isn’t open to the general public. The tour is 9-11 a.m. Monday, April 16

The alala, or Hawaiian crow, is a critically endangered species that is extinct in the wild. (Photo courtesy of Jay Robinson | NPS)

“We’ll see and learn about native birds that the facility houses, including the alala (Hawaiian crow), which is extinct in the wild; the palila, a finch-billed honeycreeper found only on the slopes of Mauna Kea; the Maui parrotbill, an insectivorous Hawaiian honeycreeper; and the puaiohi, or small Kauai thrush,” FHVNP general manager Julie Mitchell said.

“Since the tour is during breeding season, we may even have the unique chance to see chicks being fed,” she said.

The tour will be led by KBCC research coordinator, Rosanna Leighton, who holds a B.S. in Zzoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Before coming to KBCC in 2012, Leighton worked as a wildlife rehabilitator with the SPCA for Monterey County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and was a humane officer for the state of California.

This field seminar is presented by the Hawaii Volcanoes Institute, which is part of the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.

Program cost is $20 for FHVNP members and $30 for non-members, a percentage of which will be donated to KBCC. Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are half-price.

Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

This program is funded in part by the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.

To register for the “Keauhou Bird Center Tour,” call 985-7373 or visit

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