Nov. 12 is office cleanup, Nov. 18 is hike

  • Photo courtesy Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project A researcher holds a captured amakihi, just one of the birds that are the focus of the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project.

Jessica Else

The Garden Island

HANAPEPE — Treasures from the Bishop Museum have landed at Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project’s headquarters, and Sunday is a chance to help get the building ready for display.

“The lobby, it hasn’t been painted since we moved in here six years ago,” said Lisa “Cali” Crampton, of KFBRP. “It’s looking dingy with red dirt, and from all the street traffic.”

It’s a good time to upgrade the paint, because the walls are going to be home to a set of panels the museum sent over from a forest bird exhibit that had been in the main hall for about four months, with information on worldwide endangered forest birds.

In the spring of 2015, after the exhibit was done, staff at the Bishop Museum put the 6-by-3-foot panels into storage.

When Crampton discovered that, she contacted the museum and convinced staff members to share the panels with the various forest bird projects that focus on endangered birds.

“There were 12 or 13 panels around the hall different with aspects of evolution ecology and conservation. I looked through them all and chose the ones most relevant to Kauai,” Crampton said.

Avian malaria is the subject of one of the panels. Another focuses on the KFBRP egg collection effort with the San Diego Zoo.

A third is a timeframe panel that displays all of the forest birds species of Hawaii.

Those that are extinct have extinction dates next to them, and those that are still around have predicted extinction dates based on population trends.

“It’s really showing how much we’ve already lost and how precarious the situation is for the remaining birds,” Crampton said.

The Hanapepe office gets quite a bit of foot traffic, Crampton said, and installing the display is a chance to explore different educational avenues for getting information to the public.

“The other advantage is that if we do it right, we can take these off the walls and out to outreach events,” she said. “They should be mobile.”

The idea for Sunday’s volunteer day is to spruce up the display space before the panels are installed, but painting isn’t the only thing on the agenda.

“We will also be mending the mesh nets that we use to catch birds,” Crampton said. “They’re fine mesh and they get holes in them really easily, so we need to mend a bunch of those.”

KFBRP staff members have several methods for net repair and it can be accomplished standing or sitting, depending on volunteer preference.

“For people who are really excited, we can send home kits that have boards and pin and thread, and people can take the nets and fix them at home,” Crampton said.

Hiking is another way to get involved in learning about and saving Kauai’s endangered forest birds. On Nov. 18 Crampton is hosting a bird watching event in conjunction with the Hawaii Audubon Society.

“We’ll be hiking along the Pihea Trail, a couple of hours each way, pointing out the birds as we see them and talking about the threats and their ecology,” she said. “It’s a little bit of learning and viewing.”

Meeting time for the hike is 9 a.m. Nov. 18 in Kokee. RSVP at www.hawaii audubon.org/get-outside.

For more information on the Nov. 12 volunteer day, and to RSVP for the volunteer day event, call 335-5078 or email info@kauaiforestbirds.com.

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