Entries by Monika

People Were Not Made to Fly

(From the notebook of Americorps Intern Kayla Bonnette) I’ve always laughed at the immense effort and technology that is required for us to temporarily leave the ground, while birds simply lift themselves out of the trees. Of course, their entire morphologies have been honed for this life: ultralight, modified bones; lightweight feathers instead of hair; […]


(From the notebook of RSPB volunteer Geoff Young) Having worked at the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) for seven years, I was allowed a four week sabbatical.  Hawai`i looks nice I thought, go up in the hills for ten days, catch some birds, record a few details, get back to the beach; […]

Small Pleasures-Why We Do This…

(From the notebook of Americorps intern Kayleigh Chalkowksi) “You’d have to be a… what’s the word?  Oh yeah, masochist.  You gotta be a masochist to keep doing this kind of work.”  We all commiserated over our warm bowls of sardine-noodle-medley.  I took a miscalculated step earlier, so there was a thin layer of slick Alaka’i […]

Unexpected AKtivity

(From the notebook of staff research assistant Adam Elzinga) This fall we had a very successful banding effort in the Kawaikoi drainage of Koke‘e State Park. This site is located on the western edge of the Alaka‘i plateau and has seen steep declines in native forest bird abundance over the past ten years. We had […]


(From the notebooks of seasonal technician Nick Seeger and Americorp intern Nicki Ozaki) Recently, we’ve been conducting predator control near our active Puaiohi nests since historically rodents have preyed on eggs, chicks, and incubating females. One day, we went to check an active Puaiohi nest that we expected to contain two older nestlings, or perhaps […]

Weird and wacky ‘Akikiki breeding behavior

(From the notebook of seasonal volunteer Liza Olson) One of the highlights (and frustrations) of working with such rare, difficult-to-access species such as ‘Akikiki and ‘Akeke’e has to be the fact that there remains much about their behavior that is still poorly known.  Unlike other birds species, where nest monitoring work has been going on […]

Retraction-The Alaka’i has a nasty side!

(From the notebook of seasonal technician Cody Bear Sutton) On this last trip into the Alaka’i, we were shown a completely different side of the forest! Instead of the bright and sunny Alaka’i that we saw the first time, we met the more normal rainy forest. The trip was made up of wet boots, drenched […]