- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - A 90-mile trail across the Big Island will soon open up to allow visitors from around the world a close-up view of Hawaii’s rare birds.

A committee comprised of birding enthusiasts, an outdoor group and eco-tour operators will open the trail for bird viewing this fall. They are set to finalize plans for the trail, which also include a two-day festival in Keauhou featuring birding tours and guest speakers, West Hawaii Today reported (https://bit.ly/1UUeNun).

“Florida has an amazing bird trail system and many other states have them, and it’s definitely time for Hawaii,” said Gretchen Grove, a wildlife artist and wife of Big Island bird photographer Jack Jeffrey.

The Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail will stretch from Kona to Hilo, starting from the west at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, where visitors may catch glimpses of golden plovers, herons and petrels. The trail will also lead people north to chestnut-bellied sandgrouse territory near Puuanahulu and then on to Old Saddle Road, where birders may be able to spot Hawaiian hawks and owls.

Other rare birds in the area include the amakihi, elapaio and the crimson iiwi.

“Hopefully this is just the first trail that will eventually connect other resources, then other islands can develop their own trails,” said Rob Pacheco, owner of Hawaii Forest & Trail and a member of the committee that formulated the trail system.

The trail is receiving financial and administrative support from the Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii.


Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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