HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Land and Natural Resources says on Wednesday officials with the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project discovered a Kiwikiu that they thought had died.
It was one of seven birds that were captured on the windward side of Haleakala on Maui.
It moved to a different location.
Five died from avian malaria, and for a year and a half, scientists could not find the other two.
“All of a sudden I heard the kiwikiu start singing,” said Zach Pezzillo with the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project. “It’s a very distinct call distinct song and so I immediately knew what this was and what it meant. Yeah, it was pretty remarkable. I was quite stoked at the time and still kind of am.”
Officials believe there are less than 150 of these birds left in the wild; putting them at high risk of going extinct within a few years.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Zach Pezzillo’s name. The error has been corrected.