HALEAKALA - A blessing and naming ceremony to give one of Maui's rarest native birds a native name will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Hosmer Grove.
The Waikamoi Preserve is home to many of the 500 or so remaining Maui parrotbills, a critically endangered honeycreeper. For unknown reasons, the bird had no known Hawaiian name until earlier this year, when the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee selected kiwikiu.
Both ornithologists familiar with the bird's activities and Native Hawaiians were represented on the committee.
On Sunday, after gathering at the Hosmer Grove parking lot, participants will walk into the forest where at 10 a.m. Samuel M. 'Ohukani'ohi'a Gon III and Maui kumu hula and haku mele (composer) Pueo Pata will present mele inoa (name chants) to the kiwikiu.
Representatives from the Nature Conservancy, the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project and the Department of Land and Natural Resources also will participate.
The kikiwiu is dramatically different from other honeycreepers because it has evolved a robust beak that it uses to tear into the bark of ohia and koa trees to prise out insects. It is considered a classic example of adaptive radiation.
After the naming ceremonies, Pat Bily of the Nature Conservancy will lead a bird and plant hike farther into the forest. Space is limited for this hike.
For more event information or to arrange to attend, contact Hanna Mounce at 573-0280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.