Bird thought to be dead is discovered in Maui Natural Area Reserve

Local News

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.

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