I‘iwi - Hawaiian Honeycreeper

Post-Symposium Hakalau Forest Field Trip & Kaumana Trail Kipuka - SOLD OUT

Date: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Where: Hakalau Forest Refuge and Saddle Road Kipuka Forest
Times: 7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Sorry the field trip is sold out!

Thank you for your interest in this program and your support.  We’ve reached our maximum capacity for the field trip to Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge.  Stay tuned for future Alumni Field Trips and programming.  Please direct questions or concerns to nico.verissimo@uhfoundation.org or call 933-2809.    


  • $60 per person 


07:30 am Check-in at Science & Technology Bldg UH Hilo campus
08:00 am Depart UH Hilo Campus for Hakalau Forest Refuge
09:30 am Arrive at Field Station
 -orientation and introductions
 - bird banding
01:00 pm Depart to Kipuka on Saddle Road
03:30 pm Approximate arrival at UH Hilo campus


Those with heart or lung conditions must be aware of altitude, weather and air changes What To Wear: Comfortable walking/hiking shoes & long pants What To Bring: Light raingear, binoculars, towel, sunblock, hat, at least 1 liter of water, & a camera


  • Guided tour with University Field Interpreter
  • Roundtrip transportation
  • Picnic breakfast with beverage
  • Picnic lunch with beverage
  • Snacks & bottled water
  • Guided tour of Hakalau Forest Refuge including a rare opportunity to see bird banding
  • Guided tour of native Kipuka Forests along Saddle Road area
  • Written information on Hakalau Forest Refuge will be provided
  • Canvas TCBES logo tote


I‘iwi - Hawaiian Honeycreeper with Oʻhia Lehua

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1985 to protect and manage endangered Hawaiian forest birds and their rain forest habitat. Located on the windward slope of Mauna Kea, Island of Hawai‘i, the 32,733-acre Hakalau Forest Unit supports a diversity of native birds and plants equaled by only one or two other areas in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Hakalau Forest NWR contains some of the finest remaining stands of native montane rain forest in Hawaiʻi. The slopes below 4,000 feet receive very high rainfall - 250 inches annually. Bogs, fern patches, and scrubby forest dominate this area which is dissected by numerous deep gulches. Rainfall decreases to about 150 inches at elevations above 4,500 feet, where majestic koa and red-blossomed ʻōhiʻa trees form a closed-canopy forest. Further upslope, above 6,000 feet, rainfall decreases to 100 inches or less and native forest merges into abandoned pastureland where alien grasses and weeds, introduced as forage for cattle, are the dominant vegetation.

Kaumana Trail - The second stop on the trip is on the Kaumana Trail along the saddle road. This is a nice, fairly short walk (less than two miles). This area has many kipuka surrounded by relatively recent lava flows. The kipuka are islands of forest that are surrounded by recent lava flows. The lava flow in this region occurred in 1855 and the kipuka may be several thousand years old.

Beginning from the upper entrance, the trail begins at pull-off parking area that has a posted sign at the trailhead. The trail at that point and for most of the trail is over pahoehoe, which is mostly smooth lava. The trail goes through 6-12' high ohia on pahoehoe with kipukas 50-200 yards away. There were several trails leading into the kipuka. In the center of a kipuka will be filled with many native plants including large hapuʻu (giant tree ferns), ʻohia, Koa, clermontia. This part of the saddle road will also have many native insects and birds.

Your University Field Interpreters will guide you through the extraordinary native forest ecosystem and habitat for native Hawaiian birds, plants and arthropods. On the walking tour of the Hakalau Forest area you’ll observe Hawaii’s unique endemic birds and plant species. This will be an unforgettable trip as your explore the diverse environment and learn more about the current efforts to aid in the recovery of endangered forest birds and plants, and restore their habitat through effective management.

Call for presentations

We are now accepting applications to present a talk or poster. Research presentations in ecology, evolution, environmental science, and conservation biology related to Hawai'i and the Pacific region are welcome. Studies examining the relationship between human communities and cultures, and environmental issues are also encouraged. See the Registration page for more information.

Previous TCBES Symposia