Notes from the Field: Riding out the 100-Year Flood

(From the notebook of KFBRP field assistant Elizabeth Abraham)

Phew! What a Week. It started with a nest collection on Wednesday April 11th, and finished this with another collection on Wednesday, April 19th! Both nests were Akeke’e which brings our total number of Akeke’e eggs collected this season up to seven. We are definitely growing our captive population quickly this year. Of course we are also working hard on completing the Hawai’i Forest Bird Survey transects (Big Shout Out to all of our AMAZING Volunteers!) and monitoring our rat grid in the core habitat as well. 

Apparently, on April 14th, Kaua’i got slammed with over 27in of rain in a 24-hour period! We were on national news for what was a 100-year flood. Two staff members were riding out the weather in the core habitat where they were working on our rat grid and I was up at one of our ridge locations with a volunteer! We had hiked from a remote site to our ridge camp on Saturday just has the rain started. We flagged transects as we moved southeast along the plateau and got completely soaked. When we arrived at camp, it was only to discover that the weight of all the water had caused the tent to collapse and fill with water too! Good thing the down pour was so intense and there wasn’t much else we could do, so we had plenty of time to repair the tent and bail it out. Once the tent was clean and we were dry, we rode out the storm playing cards and watching the light show outside. It was definitely a wet 24 hours, but I got to snap a pretty cool picture the next morning of all the water falls on the ridge across from camp. 

We were successfully able to count our transects over the next two days and the nests we were monitoring weathered the storm perfectly! All of our nests were still active at our remote site when we returned and the collection on Wednesday, April 11th went beautifully. The weather was even the nicest I’ve seen it in a long time. Many mahalos to our helicopter crew for flying us out with eggs on Wednesday despite how busy everyone is with recovery and relief efforts on the North Shore of the Garden Island. I look forward to another nest collection coming up next week!

In the field ridge-Liz

This photo was taken from the same location the previous year in May