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Celebrating the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial Island Style


2016 marks the centennial of the Convention between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds (also called the Migratory Bird Treaty), signed on Aug. 16, 1916. The Migratory Bird Treaty, and three others that followed with Japan, Russia, and Mexico, form the cornerstones of our efforts to conserve birds that migrate across international borders. Here in Hawai‘i, many of our native birds, including those that are listed as endangered and/or threatened, are protected under these treaties and we are joining the celebration island style!

If you have any questions on our local centennial celebration or want to be notified when new events are added, please contact Christine Ogura at 

  • Special Events

    white tern, manuoku, migratory bird, centennial, u.s. fish and wildlife service

    Join our many events welcoming our communities to learn more about native bird conservation. Keep checking back for updated information as we are continuously adding new events throughout the year.  

    • Talk Story Series: A line up of bird talks and conversations is planned throughout the islands.  
      • Monday, December 12, 2016, 6:30-7:30pm at Manoa Public Library. Enjoy a talk on the endangered birds from Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands with biolgoist Megan Laut of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • Past Events:
      • Festival: On May 14, 2016 from 11-3pm at the `Iolani Palace's Coronation Lawn a festival was held to celebrate our official Honolulu city bird, the Manu O Ku. Live Hawaiian music, keiki activities, bird tours, and more were enjoyed by many. See fun photos and videos (FB and Star Advertiser) or read the Tumblr blog from the festival! Watch an interview about the festival to learn more about Manu O Ku and what you can do to help its conservation in our islands or read this Honolulu Star Advertiser article.
      • Special tours: In conjunction with their upcoming exhibit on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Journeys, join the vertebrate collections manager, Molly Hagemann, for a special tour of the exhibit, including a behind the scenes look at their bird collection.  Saturday, September 3 from 11:00am-Noon.  The tour is limited to 10 people so sign up fast! Contact  Note museum admission is not included in this tour. 
      • Celebrate: #MigratetoMudHen!  Celebrating 100 years of Migratory Bird Conservation at Mud Hen Water restaurant, 3452 Waialae Avenue, on September 28 from 5-7pm. 

        Did you know that the Mud Hen referred to in the restaurant's name is an actual native Hawaiian bird, the alae ula, that brought fire to the Native Hawaiians?

        And that this bird is now endangered and can only be found on Oahu and Kauai?

        Or that it is part of the centennial celebration of an important international Migratory Bird Treaty that helps protect it?

        Then come and join the celebration to learn more at a cocktail mixer where you can mingle with local biologists and learn about efforts to recover this special bird found only in Hawaii.                                                                                                                 Though this event is free, we are asking folks to save their spots by RSVPing. This event featured in Honolulu Magazine. Enjoy a Tumblr blog about the event.

      • Saturday, October 15, 2016, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Leader: Lance Tanino, Manu Conservation Birding & Nature Tours. Enjoy a talk on pelagic seabird migration in the field at Keokea Beach Park, Kapaau/Niulii, North Kona. A spotting scope to share/teach its use and field guides will be available. Look for spotting scope at roof-covered hilltop at bottom of parking lot. No RSVP required.

      • Wednesday, October 19th, 3:30-4:20 pm, St John Rm 11, UH Manoa. Using Translocation to Restore Hawaii's Birds. Lindsay Young and Eric Vanderwerf, Pacific Rim Conservation.

      • Thursday, October 20th, 3-5:00pm, Hawaii's Native Forest Birds: Their Past, Present, and Future featuring Dr. Lisa Crampton and Laura Berhold at Kapiolani Community College's STEM Center (Kokio 202).

      • Film Festival: Join us on October 29th at the Doris Duke Theater on Oahu for Soaring HI: Celebrating the Adventures of People and Birds, a one day film festival featuring local films, award winning documentaries, and block buster movies all featuring the unique, quirky, fun, and heart warming relationships we have with our feathered friends.  The event is free and will also include panel discussions and information about local bird conservation initiatives. 
  • Bird Walks

    No bird celebration would be complete without bird walks!  Join us for the following:

    • Guided bird walks will be offered in partnership with the Hawai‘i Audubon Society (HAS) throughout the islands.  More information can be found on the HAS website, including how to sign up, but a few to entice you are:
      •      December 2 at 8:30am at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park.  Please meet at the visitors center. 
      •      December 10 from 8-9:30am Kapiolani Park. Introduction to Birding with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Keith Swindle in partnership with the Hawaii Audubon Society. Learn how to watch for birds and become acquainted with some of the common birds of Honolulu. Get familiarized with using binoculars and identifying birds using field markers such as shape, size, color, habitat, and behavior. This will be a good opportunity for kids, novice and casual birdwatchers, and people new to the Honolulu area, as well as more experienced birders who would like to share their expertise. The walk will last about an hour to hour-and-a-half and be slow-paced over flat ground. Contact for more information.
    • On Kaua‘i at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, guided bird walks will be offered. 
    • 117th Annual Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2016-January 5th, 2017 across the Hawaiian Islands. Spend the day with other birders and volunteers at your local bird count. The results are used as a guide to create conservation strategies to protect the birds and their habitat, and to understand the long-term health of bird populations. Contact your local bird count coordinator to find out how you can join in the fun and make a difference!  Learn more
  • Learn More

    The centennial celebration is taking part across the country. Here's what you can do to learn more:

    • Which birds in Hawaii are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? Find out!
    • Read this fact sheet or visit the Migratory Bird Centennial website where you will find activities, history, and more events!
    • Follow one of our most famous migratory birds, Wisdom, the oldest known bird in the world!
    • Many of our native, listed, Hawaiian forest birds are also protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Learn more about their challenges and conservation opportunities. 
    • Looking for a fun learning activity for your kids?  Download these games and activities!
  • Take Action

    white tern, manuoku, migratory bird, centennial, u.s. fish and wildlife service

    There are many actions we can all take to conserve and promote our migratory birds so they continue to Give The World Wings by:

    •      Connecting us to nature and cultural and spiritual heritages;
    •      Contributing to environmental benefits by serving as pollinators, insect and rodent control, and seed dispersers; and
    •      Playing a key role in our economy by promoting recreational opportunities that support jobs and generate revenue in our communities. 
    • Look before you trim your trees! Manu O Ku lay their egg directly on bare branches with most eggs laid between February and June. Read this fact sheet for arborists to learn more.
      • O‘ahu Manu O Ku populations breed and roost exclusively in large trees (e.g., banyans, monkeypods, mahogany, and kukui trees). Identify significant Manu O Ku nesting trees/groves and ensure that their maintenance is done around them. 
    • Keep your cats indoors.
    • Install rodent control around nesting trees and rodent exclusion rings on trees trunks.
    • Learn about and support organizations that promote bird conservation and actions that promote bird friendly cities.
    • Volunteer!  See the organizations listed above and read about one story here.
    • Put decals on your windows so birds don’t fly into them (millions of birds each year are killed by flying into windows).
    • Teach others about why bird conservation matters.
    • If you find an injured or downed migratory bird, please contact Jenny Hoskins with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at or the Oahu branch of the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 808-973-9778.
    • If you observe human activity that may be threatening a migratory bird nest or its habitat, please call the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement 24-hour hotline at 808-643-DLNR.


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