David Y.Ige | DLNR Press Release – First Ever Hawaiian Falcon Week Begins Sunday

DLNR Press Release – First Ever Hawaiian Falcon Week Begins Sunday

Published on October 4, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room

(HILO) – Spurred by the repeated injuries sustained by a single ‘Io (Hawaiian hawk), a collaboration of conservation agencies and nonprofits is hosting the first-ever “Hawk Week”, October 9-15, 2022 .

Intended to draw attention to the plight of our state’s native hawk and raise awareness of the threats the bird faces, the week includes many opportunities for people to get involved and educate themselves.

Makaʻio is a lifelong ambassador for his species, now living at the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center in North Kohala.

The three-year-old male bird arrived at the center in 2019 and is in the care of veterinarian Dr Juan Guerra and his team. “His main issues were an eye injury and a soft tissue injury to the wing,” Guerra explained as he put Maka’io through a series of daily exercises to keep him healthy. “His wing injury has healed well, but he can no longer see out of his right eye. As a bird of prey, ‘Io doesn’t do well in the wild if he’s unable to see with both eyes.’

The center applied for permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) to keep Maka’io as an educational bird. Guerra said, “He’s here for members of the local community to learn more about his species, its natural history, its cultural significance, and the work we do at the wildlife center.”

These are exactly some of the issues and topics that Hawk Week covers for seven days of online Io appreciation presentations.

Ande Buskirk, Education and Outreach Specialist for the Island of Hawaii Branch DOFAW, designed the week-long virtual talk series as a way to honor and celebrate the native hawk. “Each day, starting this Sunday, new content will be added to the Hawk Week page based on each day’s theme,” Buskirk said.

  • Sunday, October 9 – Biology and Natural History
  • Monday, October 10 – Cultural Connections
  • Tuesday, October 11 – Conservation Actions
  • Wednesday, October 12 – Audience Appreciation
  • Thursday, October 13 – Care and rehabilitation
  • Friday, October 14 – Coexistence
  • Sat. October 15 – Holomua! Ahead!

In addition to virtual Hawk Week events, DOFAW education specialists have offered programs to interested public schools on the island of Hawaii to provide information about ‘Io and specifically the threats they face. .

Ray McGuire, a DOFAW wildlife biologist, commented, “The protection of our native wildlife is huge. If people know there is a community that cares about these birds, maybe that will stop some people from shooting them. We want to remind people that “Io and many other native birds are protected by federal and state laws.”

Along with DLNR/DOFAW and the Hawai’i Wildlife Center, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a major supporter of Hawk Week. The USFWS, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and the ʻAlalā Project provided expertise in the development of Hawk Week programming.

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(All images/videos courtesy of DLNR)

HD Video – ‘Io at Panewa Zoo and Hawaii Wildlife Center:

Photographs – ‘Io at Panewa Zoo and in the wild:


Join Hawk Week:


Media Contact:

Dan Denison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]

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