Another field season has ended at the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project. To sum up the season, we had two volunteer banding trips in January, several demographic monitoring trips into Hanawi Natural Area Reserve and Waikmoi Preserve, and completed the State of Hawaii Forest Bird Surveys for east Maui.
In January, volunteers Peter Motyka, Zara John, Robby Kohley, Dana Bollin, and Drew Hyland helped the core staff plus our new AmeriCorps, Alex Wang band birds at our two research sites in the Hanawi NAR, Poouli Camp and Frisbee Meadows. Two new female Kiwikiu were banded and a very hard-to-capture male was finally recaptured. He will help fill in missing links in our genetics work.
From February until the end of June, six research assistants joined MFBRP for the main breeding season research. Robby Kohley, Cameron Rutt, Stephanie Wheeler, Vitek Jirinec, Joel Kutylowski, and Sarah McDonald were split between our two sites in order to search for Kiwikiu, their young, and their nests. We also were putting up nets in order to capture unbanded Kiwikiu for genetic structure analysis.
Overall, the team put in 464 person days between 10 people (although most of the work was done by seven). This accounted for over 3000 hours of work. Our team put in a lot of effort in order to study this rare species. Days of searching came up with two nests at each site. The Frisbee Meadows nests were from two different pairs but both failed. The Poouli nests came from the same pair. The pair re-nested and was successful the second time. This young bird was actually banded this year as well! The team re-sighted 32 individual birds, found 34 pairs of which 19 had produced a young bird. One Akohekohe and 17 Kiwikiu were newly banded here during the season. The results from this year and past years will be entered into various publications that MFBRP has in preparation, some of which will be presented this year at the Hawaii Conservation Conference in August and The Wildlife Society conference in November.
We continued working in The Nature Conservancy's Waikamoi Preserve in order to replicate our study from the other two sites here. MFBRP put in 138 days with 800 hours. Most of the work was banding birds; 3 Kiwikiu and 1 Akohekohe were caught. Twelve pairs with three having young were seen; 5 individual Parrotbill were resighted. More work will continue here in the fall and next year.
Along with our regular research, our team aided the State of Hawaii with the Forest Bird Surveys. Nine transects, amounting to hundreds of points counts were done multiple times. These data will also be presented at the Hawaii Conservation Conference in collaboration with USGS/BRD, Hawaii Volcanoes.
As always, thanks to all of our volunteers, partners, and employees for a great season. Without such hard work and dedication, we would not be able to find the results that we have now.