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Maui parrotbill bird blessing and naming ceremony

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A hui of state and federal wildlife and conservation agencies will hold a blessing and name dedication ceremony for the endangered Maui Parrotbill bird this weekend. The Hawaiian Lexicon Committee conferred the Hawaiian name of kiwikiu on the honeycreeper species in May. There are only about 500 birds still existence today.

The onomatopoetic name mimics the call of the bird. Broken down, “kiwi” refers to its curved bill, and “kiu” to its secretive or spy-like nature. The kiwikiu name is also reflective of the ‘Ukiukiu wind of the forest habitat above Makawao.

Courtesy file image.

The Hilo-based Hawaiian Lexicon Committee, which approved the name, publishes Mamaka Kaiao, a companion to the Hawaiian Dictionary.

The naming ceremony takes place on September 12, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. on the grounds of Haleakala National Park at Hosmer’s Grove. Participants include The Forest Bird Recovery Project, the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee, Ka Haka’ula o Ke’elikolani, ‘Aha Punana Leo, The nature Conservancy, National Tropical botanical Garden, the State of Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (forestry and wildlife division), Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit UH, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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