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Birding magazine’s “Year of Hawaii”

ABA members knows that the Iiwi is the 2018 Bird of the Year. Consult the Feb. 2018 issue of Birding, starting with H. Douglas Pratt’s dramatic gatefold cover painting of Iiwis, if you need to jog your memory. But there’s also a sense in which the entire year is a sort of “Year of Hawaii” for us here at Birding and the ABA.

To a mainlander, the Akikiki seems to combine the plumage of a bushtit with the structure of a nuthatch. Look for Akikikis in ohia groves; a good microhabitat cue is moss-covered branches, as shown in this image. Alakai Wilderness Preserve, Kauai, Hawaii; February 11, 2008. Photo by © Eric VanderWerf.

Take the April 2018 issue, and its in-depth treatment of the Akikiki, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper and relative of the Iiwi. The article features the science and storytelling of Lisa Crampton and Helen Raine, along with the art and photography of Danya Weber, Justin Hite, and Eric VanderWerf.

And our coverage of Hawaii continues in the June 2018 issue, now in production. In the June issue, Andy Bankert informs us about the Bonin Petrel, which nests almost entirely within the state of Hawaii. Andy also provides us with an “Introduction to Hawaiian Seabirding,” featuring the photography of Steve Howell.

Yet additional Hawaii coverage is planned for the August, October, and December issues of Birding.


One thing that comes across loud and clear in reporting on the Hawaiian avifauna is the strongly collaborative nature of the efforts to protect the imperiled birdlife of the Aloha state. In Lisa and Helen’s article, for example, the work of the nonprofit Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project (KFBRP) figures prominently. But KFBRP is not the only organization committed to the protection of this enchanting nuthatch-like little bird. We weren’t able to acknowledge KFBRP’s many partners in the print version of the article, but we would like to do it here. They include the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawaii, American Bird Conservancy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy, Kokee Resource Conservation Program, Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development–University of Hawaii, and Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

The challenges facing the Hawaiian avifauna are daunting. But bird lovers are doing something about it. Stay tuned to Birding throughout 2018 for content on Hawaiian birdwatching and conservation opportunities for ABA members.

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Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd

Editor, Birding magazine at American Birding Association
Ted Floyd is the longtime Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives with the ABA. Ted has written 200+ magazine articles and 5 books, including How to Know the Birds (National Geographic, 2019). He is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and has served on several nonprofit boards. Join Ted at The ABA Blog for his semimonthly spot, “How to Know the Birds,” celebrating common birds and the uncommonly interesting things they do.