Categorized | Environment

Birds, forests and wilderness photography with Jeffrey


The Kohala Center has teamed with photographer Jack Jeffrey to offer “Birds, Forests, and Wilderness Photography” learning events in the Kohala Mountain forest and along the Pu‘u O‘o Trail.

“In the Field: Nature Photography in the Kohala Mountain Forest” will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, and “Birding along the Pu‘u O‘o Trail” will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Each event is available to members of The Kohala Center’s Circle of Friends and one of their guests for $50 per person. For those who are not current members, the fee is $150, which includes membership. Lunch is included.

Download registration forms at or contact The Kohala Center at or (808) 887-6411.

In October, join Jeffrey “In the Field” for a full-day session of photographing the splendor of the Kohala Mountain native flora and fauna. Learn to photograph plants, flowers, insects, scenic views, and other native natural history subjects the way the professionals photograph them.

Jeffrey will discuss various aspects of nature photography including equipment, exposure, composition, lighting, close-ups, and photo ethics. Melora Purell, the Kohala Watershed Partnership coordinator, will also be a guide.

Meet at 7 a.m. Oct. 14 in The Kohala Center parking area in Waimea, and then drive to the Pu‘u Pili trailhead to catch the morning light in the forest. Hike two miles along the trail to photograph aspects of the native forest and wilderness, including common, rare, and endangered native plants—and maybe a Happy Face Spider or two.

This is a hike into the wet forest, so be prepared for cold, wet, windy, and muddy weather conditions. Participants should come equipped with a camera, rain jacket, and sturdy shoes or boots that can withstand tough terrain. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 5.

In November, Jeffrey will lead an adventure in search of native forest birds along the Pu‘u O‘o Trail on Saddle Road. The hike is two and a half miles through several kipuka of different ages. Islands of native forest remnants, kipuka are older landforms surrounded by one or more fresher lava flows.

The kipuka are located on the windward slopes of Mauna Loa at the 6,000-foot elevation and provide the habitat for numerous native Hawaiian forest birds, including the very rare and endangered akiapolaau, as well as some non-native bird species. Kipuka also serve as home to the endangered Hawaiian bat as well as many plants that are in danger of extinction.

Learn about the history of the trail and see how cattle, feral goats, sheep, mouflon, and pigs have affected native koa and ohia forests over the last 200 years; and how grazing has led to the extinction and endangerment of many native plants and birds.

Participants will meet at 8 a.m. Nov. 17 at the Pu‘u O‘o Trailhead between mile markers 22 and 23 on Saddle Road. The terrain can be uneven and rocky in spots, and conditions can be cool, wet, and sometimes muddy. Be prepared with a rain jacket, sturdy close-toed shoes or boots, and long pants. Registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 9.

The Kohala Center is an independent, not-for-profit community-based center for research, education, and conservation. The center was established to create greater educational and employment opportunities for island residents by caring for—and celebrating—Hawaii Island’s spectacular natural and cultural landscape.

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