Kipuka Puaulu Bird Park

Volcano, Hawaii

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This one is for the birds. A kipuka is an island of vegetation in a sea of lava. When an eruption poured lava down this hillside 400 years ago, it missed this section of forest, so the plant and animal species that live here have been here for at least 2,000 years, when an even older flow covered the land. Human activities, introduced animals, and repeated eruptions make unspoiled kipukas like this one hard to find; it also has been protected by a pig- and goat-proof fence. Pick up a guide to the Kipuka Puaulu Nature Trail at the visitor center before you start (if there are any available— they often run out). The trail begins at a panel with pictures of the birds that live in the kipuka. Stroll among some very big old koa trees whose extraordinary leaves deserve a close examination.

Kipuka Puaulu (Bird Park) Professional Review and Guide

"This one is for the birds. A kipuka is an island of vegetation in a sea of lava. When an eruption poured lava down this hillside 400 years ago, it missed this section of forest, so the plant and animal species that live here have been here for at least 2,000 years, when an even older flow covered the land. Human activities, introduced animals, and repeated eruptions make unspoiled kipukas like this one hard to find; it also has been protected by a pig- and goat-proof fence.

Pick up a guide to the Kipuka Puaulu Nature Trail at the visitor center before you start (if there are any available—
they often run out). The trail begins at a panel with pictures
of the birds that live in the kipuka. Stroll among some very big old koa trees whose extraordinary leaves deserve a close examination."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Volcano
Distance: 1.6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-Round
Local Maps: USGS Kilauea Crater
Driving Directions: Directions to Kipuka Puaulu (Bird Park)

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May 2018