2024 is Ka Makahiki o Nā Manu Nahele: The Year of the Forest Birds, a time to celebrate the jewels of our Hawaiian forests. Our native forest birds are uniquely Hawaiian: they exist only in the Hawaiian Islands and nowhere else in the world. These birds have critical ecological roles as pollinators, seed dispersers, and insect managers of Hawaiian forests. Our forest birds are an inextricable part of Native Hawaiian culture in their roles as ʻaumakua (family deities) and messengers between akua (gods) and kānaka (people). Nā manu nahele are celebrated in mele (songs) moʻolelo (stories), ʻōlelo noʻeau (proverbs), kaʻao (legends), and in the creation of feather adornments including lei hulu.

Find activities, events, resources, curriculum, crafts and information here.

Download free classroom posters:

Makahiki o nā manu nahele

Manu poster

Origami Project

If you would like to participate in our origami project, find all information here.

Free Forest Bird Curriculum- Kaua‘i edition

Through a partnership with University of Hawaii, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and the Bishop Museum, Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds aims to educate elementary and secondary students through science, music, and art to teach about Hawaii’s native bird species and the importance of conservation efforts.

Below, you will find links to download lessons and curriculum for the Symphony of Hawaiian Birds. These lessons can be used in a classroom as part of the Symphony curriculum or on their own.

Full Lesson Plan for the Symphony of Hawaiian Birds (Kauai Edition) is available here!

Lesson 1: We Are Going to the Symphony! What is a Symphony?

Lesson 2: Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands & Introduction to Hawaiian Forest Birds

Lesson 3: Kauaʻi Specific Word Splash

Lesson 4: Vocabulary Alert: Native vs. Introduced vs. Invasive (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 5: The Immigrant Song (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 6: Design a Bird

Lesson 7: Mix-And-Mingle Bird Party (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 8: Bird Beak Morphology (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 9: Aspiring Naturalists (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 10: Forest Bird Family Tree (Supplemental Material)

Lesson 11:  Student Research Projects (Supplemental Material: Dropbox)

Lesson 12: Extinction Crisis Timeline

Lesson 13: Wildlife Management Scenario

Lesson 14: Hawaiian Wildlife in Local Culture

Lesson 15: Saving the Hawaiian Forest Birds

Lesson 16: Music: For the Birds?


Kaua‘i Forest Bird Educational Tools, Games, Books, & Lessons

Here are some resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.  Check back often, as we develop and add new materials.  We are also available to give public presentations – feel free to contact us for more information.

  • You can also print our list of “What you can do” and discuss with children the links between seemingly disconnected activities and forest bird conservation (e.g. turn out the lights –> reduce global warming –> prevent the spread of avian malaria –> stop birds from dying of this disease). In  the near future, we will be developing a matching game around this list.
  • Get your students out birding! There are several easily accessible places on the island where you can view native birds. Check out our birding map for details.
  • Check out our matching game for a fun way to learn about food sources and habitat niches of Kauai’s Forest Birds!  If you would like to print this game out as a poster, contact us and we can send you a larger file via email.
  • Thanks to our partners at the Rotary Club of Poipu, the Hawaii Tourism and Lodging Association, Diegmann Science Services and Hamline University we now have a free iBook available for download. Check out our interactive book titled “Who am I?”, available now in the Apple iBooks app. You can read all about Kaua’i’s native forest birds, view pictures, listen to calls and play games
  • Our “Who Am I” book teaches children about Kaua’i’s Forest Birds, by using rhyming poems and a guessing game. Stop by our office to pick up a copy or purchase directly from Amazon.
  • Kauai Forest Bird finger puppets and coloring sheets are available from our partner, DOFAWʻs website. They are also available in ‘ōlelo Hawai’i here!
  • Kauai Forest Bird and Native Plant Posters are also available from out Partner, DOFAW.
  • The Guardian’s Virtual Reality Experience of Kauai forest birds and the extinct ʻōʻō available on youtube.
  • A new virtual learning resource about Hawaii’s birds, featuring Kaua’is and Maui’s forest birds is available from the Center for Global Environmental Education. Check it out here!
  • Download our “Mālama our forest birds” sign to print!
  • Holiday crafts: our ‘i‘iwi ornament and many more holiday crafts here