NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
12 Mar 1998
- 20.8075 -156.28139
- Sennheiser MKH 30
- Sennheiser MKH 40
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
Jim Kowalski Log
0000 - top - no absolute time, counter only
0047 "My name is Jim Kowalski, I'm field team leader for the forest bird recovery project, working for the recovery of the very endangered po'ouli bird here in the Hanawi Natural Area Reserve of Maui." (been working on it for 2 1/2 years)
USGS Biological Survey work had a project back in 1995. They determined there are only three birds.
0446 - we know for the most part from just watching it and observing it that it hangs out in this one area. so we were pretty certain that if we just set up a whole lot of nets in the area, we'd eventually catch him. Turns out he was probably the last bird to be caught in the area. He held out to the very end just about. Everyone else in the area seemed to already have bands, and we were recapturing a lot birds we'd re-banded before, and to sum it up, a lot of persistence and patience and waiting for the birds to finally drop into one of the nets. 0526
0530 - it was wonderful. it was the best feeling in the world to finally capture it, 'cause it took so long, it was just a lot of waiting around and waiting and waiting for him to finally do it. 0543.
0605 - this is probably very wishful thinking, we do not know the sex of the bird right now. what we did, after we captured it, was pluck about a dozen breast feathers from the bird, and these will be sent off to laboratories for DNA sexing analysis.
0730 - Up against a background of foliage, they're pretty much invisible to the birds. What they do is pretty much just fly right into them and get tangled up onto them. And we used oh .... about ten nets this time out to cover anywhere from six to twelve meters in length and are about five meters high or so.
0835 - it's a bright sunny day, it was a very slow day of catching birds, so most of the time we're just sitting around and we're waiting. And it just so happened about two o'clock in the afternoon, on a routine check of the nets, there's nothing else in the nets, the last net I checked, there he was, hanging right up in the middle of it, just caught. 0907 I could not believe it, it just surprises you, no matter how well prepared you are for it, to finally capture what you're after out there. 0918
0925 - we lowered the net down, since he was in the top part of it, he happened to be. and we took him out, and the first thing that he did was he started snapping his bill back and forth, sort of like snapping your fingers, more or less, in an aggressive posture, which was kind of interesting, because none of the other two birds had ever done this before. 0948
What we did was we grabbed him, we put him in a bag, and we take him back to a localized banding station where gear set up. three color bands on him, all white, so marked different from other birds. FWS stainless steel band. bird then checked over, then took feathers from him as well. 1039
1101 - he was in the area, but he was not vocalizing at all. so we had no idea he was in the area. we knew he likes to hang out there, but we also know he moves around a lot, frequently. And he's also usually in association with other birds, particularly the Maui creepers and the Maui parrot bills, probably his closest kin.
1340 i still have a lot of hope we can find one or two more birds out there. They're extremely quiet; they hardly vocalize at all, and what vocalizations they do make are very, very similar to most of the other birds out there. They're also very cryptically colored, they're elusive and they're tiny; so, the chances of overlooking one single bird out in the vast wilderness out there is pretty great. so we try to search our areas several times over at different times of the year, in hopes of turning up another bird. 1416.
NOTES - THE Survival OF THE FITTEST - the last bird may be the best.
36:42 - ambi roll - voices in back ... then none, leaf rattle .... 3743, car pass .... 3950, continuing.... out at 4026