The Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation

( Another example of How to Pluck a Non-Profit! )


Sightings from The Catbird Seat

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From the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation website:

Consuelo Zobel Alger was born into a family which had been at the top of the business, social and cultural scene of the Philippines since their introduction to the country some 400 years ago. Her ancestors founded Ayala Company during the Spanish period and have operated it for more than 150 years. The family has retained a reputation as business entrepreneurs who contribute to the development of the country. Today, Ayala Corporation is known around the world as the premier company of the Philippines.

In 1940, Consuelo married a young American army officer, a West Point graduate, who was stationed in the Philippines. After his retirement in 1970 as a three-star general, they decided on Hawaii as a permanent residence. General Alger died in 1986.

Consuelo was inspired from her earliest days by the words of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who said, “What matters in life are not great deeds, but great love.” Consuelo wrote on the subject, “St. Therese did what I want to do in life…to let fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. My mission will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.”

Uniquely suited to her calling, Consuelo committed the tremendous resources she inherited from her family toward the accomplishment of this mission of mercy. In early 1987, she met Patti Lyons who was just then beginning to develop a shelter for street children in the Philippines. Through this fateful meeting, the initial seeds took root from which Consuelo Foundation was ultimately grown.

Consuelo’s dream was further realized with the help of a group of diversely talented board members, a dedicated staff and many caring friends. All joined the cause in a common bond to ensure her compassionate vision becomes a reality.

Consuelo died on November 29, 1990, though her memory lives on forever through the legacy of good works perpetuated by her establishment and endowment of Consuelo Foundation.

– This biographical sketch was written by Lt. Sheldon Geringer, U.S. Navy, a friend of the Foundation.


Consuelo Foundation envisions communities in Hawaii and the Philippines in which disadvantaged children, women and families achieve dignity, self-esteem and self-sufficiency resulting in renewed hope for those who have lost it and hope to those who have never had it.


The mission of Consuelo Foundation is to operate or support programs in Hawaii and the Philippines that improve the quality of life of disadvantaged children, women and families.

~ ~ ~

In her Chairman’s message, written on July 6, 1990 shortly before her death, Mrs. Consuelo Zobel Alger expressed her desire to “renew hope for those who have lost it or to give hope to those who never had it.” In an act of extraordinary grace, she created the Foundation in 1988 to improve the lives and living conditions of disadvantaged children, women and families throughout the Philippines and Hawaii.

Established as a private operating foundation under U.S. law, it operates programs either directly with its own staff or by contracting others. It does not consider unsolicited requests for grants from individuals or organizations.

The headquarters is located in Honolulu while its Philippine operation is managed from Manila….

Specifically, the Foundation uses its resources to establish decent shelter; develop self-help and income-generating skills to encourage self-sufficiency; provide medical, dental and social services; and encourage giving back to the community some of what has been received.

In the Philippines, the Foundation programs for the prevention of abuse and exploitation of children and women, amelioration of their conditions, and enhancement of their social and economic potential.

In Hawaii, it operates programs to reduce child abuse, assist disadvantaged women, and strengthen families and neighborhoods….

~ ~ ~



Jeffrey Watanabe, Chairman

Patti Lyons, President and Chief Executive Officer

David R. Powell, Secretary-Treasurer

Constance H. Lau, Assistant Secretary

Rosemarie B. Clarkin, Alejandro Z. Padilla, Robert S. Tsushima

Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation
110 N. Hotel St.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Tel: (808) 532-3939 – Fax: (808) 532-3930

Philippine Branch
Citibank tower, 27th Floor
8741 Paseo de Roxas, Makati
Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: (63-2) 848-0601 – Fax: (63-2) 848-0553

* * *


September 18, 1998

From the Western Michigan University website:

July and August grants to WMU top $4.7 million

KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University researchers kicked off the 1998-99 fiscal year with more than $4.7 million in July and August grants, the WMU Board of Trustees learned at its Sept. 18 meeting….

The largest single award made during the period was a $905,000 award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Education Foundation to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering….

In addition, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation of Honolulu and the Philippines awarded two major grants to Dr. Daniel L. Stufflebeam, director of the Evaluation Center.

A $320,806 award will be used to conduct evaluations and help develop the evaluation capacity of staff at the Philippine branch of the foundation.

A $222,218 award will be used to update the evaluation design and continue the evaluation of the Waianae Self-Help Housing Project, a community development program targeted at the working poor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.


Miracles in Manila,
thanks to Hawaii group

By Susan Kreifels, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

MANILA — The Rev. Rocky Evangelista spread the weapons on his desk: a jagged tomahawk, a razor-sharp butterfly knife, rusty brass knuckles, an ice pick. The survival kit of Manila streets.

The boys who carried them had been abandoned by family, government and society. They were victims of crime syndicates, pedophiles and police. Yes, the young priest admitted, some of the 93 boys who lived in his shelter for street children had killed — five people whom he knew about, maybe more.

But “when the bad become good,” Evangelista said sincerely, “they’re really good. If you don’t redirect their lives you have potential bombs. They must have a vision.”

Vision is a word heard frequently at the 50 Philippine projects sponsored by the Alger Foundation, a Hawaii-based, nonprofit organization that spends $5 million to $6 million a year on projects to help poor and abused women, children and families. About 75 percent of the funding goes to the Philippines, the rest to Hawaii. The foundation was established in 1988 by the late Consuelo Zobel Alger.

Two years ago, the foundation was one of 13 nonprofit groups around the world to be featured on a Public Broadcasting System TV series called “Visionaries.”

Alger visions are on the cutting edge of social reform in the Philippines, where the benefits of an emerging economy have yet to trickle down to the poor. Its projects have raised the national consciousness on a number of social issues like juvenile justice, street children, sexually abused children and squatter resettlement. The foundation received a 1996 Presidential Award for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas from President Fidel Ramos.

Patti Lyons, president and chief executive officer of the Alger Foundation, speaks almost mystically about its success.

“There have been so many miracles,” said Lyons, who headed Child & Family Service before going to the foundation in 1990….

‘A shower of roses’

Alger was a Filipino American who had lived in Hawaii for 20 years with her husband, Army Gen. James Dyce Alger. Consuelo Alger was an heir of the Ayala family, one of the richest families in the Philippines. She had no children and decided that her greatest legacy would be to help children and families. Alger, who died of cancer in 1990, devoted virtually all of her fortune to start the foundation in 1988.

Trying to pattern her life after St. Therese of the Child Jesus, she told Lyons that she wanted to “let fall from heaven a shower of roses. … I will spend my heaven doing good on Earth.”

Many of the 93 boys, ages 8 to early 20s, who live in Evangelista’s Tuloy Foundation for street children believe they have been blessed by the foundation. “Tita Patti is a gift from God,” said Ron, 22, who lives at the shelter.

Ron, who didn’t give his last name, had lived on Manila streets for a year before the Tuloy staff, mostly volunteers, approached him one night last year and asked if he wanted to stay at the shelter.

“Drugs, prostitution, stealing for syndicates,” said Ron, who kept his eyes down as he described life on the streets. “We don’t want to do these things but just to live. If you try to leave, they will kill you. You must be king of yourself to survive.”

Ron wants to be a teacher now that “life has meaning.”

When the boys arrive, “they’re not human beings anymore,” Evangelista said. “They don’t have human feelings. They’ve lost their sense of smell” from eating out of garbage bins….

75,000 on the streets

An estimated 75,000 young people live on the streets. Tuloy’s retention rate is 45 percent compared to 10 percent at locked government shelters. Evangelista’s dream is to build a version of Boys Town in the United States….

The Alger Foundation is helping relocate close to 1,000 squatter families on Negros. Government resettlement has often been violent and provided nothing to help sustain relocated families. Urquico hopes the Alger project “can be a model to move peacefully.”

“The Philippines is looking more to the poor because the poor are demanding it,” Urquico said. “Since the end of Marcos, nongovernment organizations are teaching them to know their rights.”


May 27, 2004

Group Sells Land for $1 for Hawaiian Homes

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation has agreed to sell the state 3.3 acres in Waianae for $1 to create Hawaiian homesteads.

The property and an adjacent self-help housing community is the former home of the Weinberg Village for homeless families.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will develop 20 single-family homes expected to be in the $90,000 to $110,000 range….

Foundation Chairman Jeffrey Watanabe said the organization donated the land because it felt a Hawaiian Homes community would complement Ke Aka Hoona, its self-help housing project….

Hawaiian Home Lands Director Micah Kane said the projects will appear as one community sharing the Ke Aka Hoona community center….

Kane said his department will release details later on plans to construct 1,100 housing units on Maui over the next five years, pumping $91 million into the Valley Isle, and a similar plan for Oahu.


Isle groups buy stake in
Bulletin and MidWeek

By Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Real estate and media investor Duane Kurisu, banking executive Warren K. K. Luke and his family, attorney Jeffrey Watanabe and his wife, Lynn, and Island Holdings Inc., which is represented by Colbert M. Matsumoto and Franklin M. Tokioka, have reached an agreement to acquire an interest in the two local newspapers….

The new ownership group means that members of the local business community will be involved in running the Star-Bulletin for the first time since 1971.

David Black, whose Black Press Ltd. owns the Star-Bulletin and MidWeek, described the new partners as “long-term patient investors” who “want to ensure that two dailies remain in Honolulu forever.”…

The players

The Star-Bulletin’s new investors include several kamaaina families that play a big role in Hawaii’s business community. Here’s a snapshot of the local shareholders:

Warren K. K. Luke is chairman and chief executive officer of Hawaii National Bank and its parent Hawaii National Bancshares. He also is a director of Aloha Airlines, a former director of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and is a past president of the Western Independent Bankers Association. The Luke family company, Loyalty Enterprises Ltd., is a major landowner in the Mapunapuna area.

Jeffrey Watanabe is chairman of the executive committee of the Watanabe Ing & Kawashima law firm, which represents the Star-Bulletin. He also sits on the boards of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., Grace Pacific Corp., First Insurance Co., Punahou School and the Sesame Workshop.

Colbert M. Matsumoto is president of Island Holdings, which has annual revenues of $100 million and owns Island Insurance Co. He also serves on the board of CB Bancshares Inc., the parent of City Bank. Between 1996 and 2000, Matsumoto served as the court-appointed master of the Kamehameha Schools and initiated many of the key reforms of the $6 billion charitable trust.

Franklin Tokioka is chairman of Island Holdings Inc., which was founded by his father, Masayuki Tokioka. He also is a director of ANA Hotels Hawaii Inc., Atlas Insurance Agency, Nitto Hawaii Inc. and Oceanic Cablevision. Tokioka was one of the early investors in Oceanic Cable, now owned by AOL Time Warner Inc.


Al Rodrigues Associates

We are a strategic marketing and communications consulting firm offering a wide range of services designed to help businesses and organizations achieve their corporate and marketing goals. These services include strategic planning, marketing communications, public relations and internet consulting. The company was established in the State of Hawaii on December 5, 1990 and was reorganized a Limited Liability Company on January 12, 1998.

Unlike many of Honolulu’s other full-service communications companies, we do not maintain a large full-time staff to perform all the various functions of a communications or public education program. Instead we work with other successful, talented and reliable partners on an as-needed basis selected from the vast pool of locally available communications professionals according to the specific requirements of a client. This allows us to create customized teams with the particular expertise required and to provide the full array of communications services at a much lower cost than a fully-staffed multi-service communications company. Simply put, we do not have to force-fit your requirements to match staff talent or to pass on unnecessary overhead charges.


Aloha Airlines

Aloha Petroleum

American Lung Association of Hawaii

America’s Promise Hawaii

Amfac/JMB Realty

Arizona Memorial Museum Association

Building Communities Foundation (Manila, Philippines)

Carmichael Lynch Advertising (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Castle & Cooke Properties

Catholic Charities of Honolulu

Catholic Charities Family Services

Child and Family Service of Hawaii

Child and Family Service (Baguio, Philippines)

Children and Youth Foundation of the Philippines (Manila)

Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation (Manila and Honolulu)

Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

Department of Health, State of Hawaii

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, State of Hawaii

Department of Environmental Services, City & County of Honolulu

Department of Resources & Development, Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei)

Department of Health, State of Hawaii

Elsie Gaches Village (Manila, Philippines)

Employees’ Retirement System, State of Hawaii

Filipino Community Center

Film Industry Branch, DBEDT, State of Hawaii

GECC Financial

Governor’s Council on Tourism

GTE Directories (Dallas, Texas)

GTE Hawaiian Tel International

GTE Mobilnet

Great Aloha Run

Harrah’s Casinos

Hawaii Attractions Association

Hawaii Family Support Center

Hawaii Medical Services Association

Hawaii Petroleum

Hawaii’s Plantation Village

Hawaii Convention & Visitors Bureau

Healthy and Ready To Learn

Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce

Honolulu Symphony Society

Housing Finance & Development Corp., State of Hawaii

Japan America Conference

Kajima Development

Market Trends Pacific

Matrix Telecom (Dallas, Texas)

Maui Community Arts & Cultural Center

Maui Petroleum

Maui Disposal

McCabe, Hamilton & Renny

McCormack Properties

Minit Stop


Nani ‘O Wai’anae

Navy League, Honolulu Council

Nissan Motor Corporation

Outrigger Hotels

Pacific Business News

Paging Network, Inc. (Plano, Texas)

Palau Visitors Authority (Koror)

R & R Advertising (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Sigi Productions

Station Casinos

The Tulalip Tribes (Marysville, Washington)

Tourism Branch, DBEDT, State of Hawaii

Tuloy sa Don Bosco (Manila, Philippines)

U.S. Army Support Command, Hawaii

VMS Realty Partners

Waikoloa Marine Life Fund

Welcome Home Foundation (Bacolod, Philippines)

Wings Over Florida (Orlando, Florida)

Al Rodrigues & Associates, LLC
1188 Bishop St., Suite 1202
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tel: 808.521.8866 Fax: 808.521.8625


June 9, 2002

Gathering Places

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Editorial

Hawaii’s Filipinos have finally arrived

By Belinda A. Aquino

The $14 million Filipino Community Center, or FilCom for short, will be inaugurated amid much excitement in a weeklong celebration tomorrow through June 15, appropriately called “Mabuhay Week”. Adding to the significance of the occasion is the observance of the 104th anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12….

The center’s completion took several years of dreaming, planning, beating the bushes, fund-raising and hard work by a small but dedicated core of Filipino community leaders like Roland Casamina, Eddie Flores Jr., Lito Alcantra, Rose Churma and others too numerous to mention….

The breakthrough came in 1995 when AMFAC/JMB phased out its Waipahu sugar mill and two acres were donated to the center project. Construction began in December 2000.

By the mid-1990s, professional fundraisers were brought in and the city released $500,000 for the building’s planning and design. The Filipino American League of Engineers and Architects reviewed the initial designs. Emme Tomimbang produced a video. Casamina’s sister, Edith, and her husband, Roland Pascua, led volunteer groups to collect pledges and contributions. The state eventually kicked in a $1.5 million grant.

The Consuelo Foundation, named after Filipina philantrophist Consuelo Zobel Alger, made a $500,000 donation.

The high point came in February 2001 when the Weinberg Foundation donated $3 million. Churma stayed up all night writing the grant and was incredulous. “It’s not everyday that one can say, “Yeah, I wrote a grant for three million!”…


From the Kamehameha Schools website:


Constance H. Lau, Vice Chair

A 1970 honors graduate from Punahou, Connie Lau took her bachelor of science degree at Yale College in 1974, her juris doctor law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in 1977 and, in 1979, received her master’s in business administration from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Lau specialized in real estate, corporate and banking law in San Francisco before returning to Hawai`i as Assistant Corporate Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. By 1987, Lau was both treasurer at Hawaiian Electric Company and assistant treasurer of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI). Then, in April 1989, she was elevated to treasurer of HEI, a position she holds to this day, along with that of financial vice president and treasurer of HEI’s international subsidiary, HEI Power Corp.

On September 1, 1999, Lau was named Chief Operating Officer of American Savings Bank, HEI’s banking subsidiary, and in mid-2001, was named President and Chief Executive Officer. Lau’s devotion to community service includes serving as chair of the University of Hawai`i Foundation; trustee, executive committee member, and chair of Punahou School’s investment committee; director and secretary-treasurer of the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation; and, director of the Maunalani Foundation in addition to other outstanding organizations too numerous to mention….


From Hawaii Business magazine:

Colbert Matsumoto, President, Island Holdings Inc.

Colbert Matsumoto has received oodles of accolades for successfully leading an effort to free the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii from $9 million worth of debt in less than two months. But according to friend and business colleague Bill Kaneko, the significance of the accomplishment is not the amount of money raised or the short amount of time it took to raise it.

“Those are achievements, but what he’s really done is enabled a rejuvenation of Japanese-American culture and heritage,” explains Kaneko, president of the Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs. ” The Japanese-American community is beginning to think again about the importance of our history and culture. And to accomplish something like that – a large public mission – really requires strong leadership, focus and vision.”

It also requires a fat Rolodex. And Matsumoto has been quietly filling his with a wide range of lofty names for a few decades. Since the ’70s, the former attorney and current Island Holdings Inc. president has been nurturing relationships with Hawaii’s movers and shakers by serving on some notable boards. Among them: City Bank and its parent company, CB Bancshares Inc.; National Mortgage & Finance Co. Ltd.; Oahu Publications Inc.; the state Employees’ Retirement System, with more than 100,000 beneficiaries; and Island Insurance Company Ltd., of which he is chairman.

Having connected with former Gov. Benjamin Cayetano early on (he clerked for Cayetano back when he was the Senate Ways and Means chair), and having established relationships with key members of Gov. Linda Lingle’s cabinet, Matsumoto also developed strong political ties.

“Colbert has numerous relationships that have been built over the years â€|consisting of leaders within all aspects of the community,” says Richard Lim, president of City Bank. “Therefore he can bridge gaps and make connections.”

One huge gap that Matsumoto was called upon to fill was the bottomless pit that Bishop Estate had dug itself into in the mid ’90s, following a period of scandal. In 1996, he became the court-appointed master charged with restructuring the multibillion-dollar institution, and boy, did he clean house.

“The level of political pressure and heat that Colbert must’ve felt was enormous. But he saw major deficiencies in the management of KSBE, and he stuck to his guns,” says Kaneko. “He was very deliberate in ensuring that Kamehameha Schools is adhering to the trust and purpose of the will. Because he cares about people’s well being. To be concerned with equality, fairness, justice – those real core values of human dignity – it permeates his basic philosophy on life and leadership. And those are traits he’s grown up with all of his life.” But even though Matsumoto has displayed a passion for civic duty and demonstrated leadership skills since childhood, his star is just starting to rise.

“I would imagine that Colbert’s power is only beginning to develop. He represents the new leadership of Hawaii, and his power will grow as the existing leaders retire and/or vacate their positions,” says Lim. “As for his ‘staying power,’ I don’t think he really cares, which, ironically, will probably tend to increase his longevity.”

 - Jacy L. Youn

For more on Mr. Matsumoto, GO TO > > > Act 221


Hawaii Business Magazine Cover Story

Jeffrey Watanabe

“I’m in the geisha business,” jokes Jeffrey Watanabe, managing partner of Watanabe Ing Kawashima & Komeiji LLP. By that, Watanabe means he is the geisha. “I have to be accessible, a conduit for companies to contact the firm,” he explains.

What clients are keeping this high-powered corporate attorney on his toes? Only the state’s leading banks, hotels, airlines and construction companies.

“I would be surprised if Jeff wasn’t named a powerbroker; I consider him one of a handful of very powerful people in Hawaii,” says Walter Dods, chairman and chief executive officer of BancWest Corp. “He’s done some work with First Hawaiian, and his business advice is sought after and followed very strongly. He’s very strategic – he can think three steps ahead of most people. And he has integrity.”

Despite the endorsement of Hawaii’s No.1 powerbroker, Watanabe demurs his status among the power elite. “I’m not a powerful person who can impose my will on other people,” he insists. “If I have any power, it comes from my relationships with other people and how people perceive that.”

An example of Watanabe’s relationship-building skills: In the late 1980s, he represented Maui Land & Pine Co., which unearthed an ancient Hawaiian burial ground while developing the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua. That required Watanabe to work with a number of groups – the Native Hawaiian community, the state Legislature and the hotel unions – to craft a solution that would satisfy all parties.

Given this talent, it’s no surprise that Mainland corporations recognize Watanabe as Hawaii’s go-to guy, capable of acquainting them with the state’s complex business community. Even Watanabe doesn’t dispute that kudo.

“Today, I was talking to Norwegian Cruise Lines, which is going to have a major presence in Hawaii,” he says. “They’re based in Florida, and they know that they don’t understand this environment, but they want to learn. Part of what I do is give them a sense of the community and the things they should be sensitive to, how they can be good corporate citizens and, at the same time, serve their economic purposes.”

Watanabe himself is just as respected for his community work as he is for his business savvy. He devotes about one-third of his time to nonprofit activities, serving as chairman of three nonprofit boards: the Sesame Workshop in New York, which produces Sesame Street and other educational children’s programs; the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, which benefits women, children and families throughout the Philippines and Hawaii; and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.

It’s a wonder Watanabe has time to do so, considering he also sits on a number of for-profits’ boards, including Alexander & Baldwin Inc., American Savings Bank, First Insurance Co. of Hawaii and Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

“These are the kinds of challenges I like,” Watanabe says. “Here in Hawaii, because we’re so small and such a tight community, there’s a lot of overlap because of social, political and community issues. That’s what my job is: I need to understand where people are coming from.”

– Ronna Bolante

Hawaii Business Magazine: Cover Story


January 24, 2001

Federal loan gives Filipino center a boost

By James Gonser, Honolulu Advertiser

WAIPAHU – Bolstered by a $5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, the Hawaii Filipino Community Center in Waipahu is finally beginning to take shape.

Construction of the center, at Waipahu and Mokuola streets near Hans La’Orange Park, began Dec. 8 after several years of planning and fund-raising.

Rose Churma, interim executive director of the nonprofit Filipino Community Center Inc., said the federal loan guarantee was one of the conditions to secure a construction loan from City Bank.

Churma, who has been working on the center since 1994, said the entire project is expected to cost about $8.5 million, and close to $6 million has been raised already, mostly in the form of pledges.

“We needed a construction loan to tide us over. All the pledges may not come in exactly when needed,” Churma said.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, helped secure the loan guarantee.

“Hawaii’s Filipino community has worked long and hard to bring this dream to life,” Abercrombie said. “It’s a tribute to everyone who has been involved in the planning, organization and fund-raising. It’s a privilege for me to be part of that effort.”

Called the FilCom Center, the facility will represent Filipinos living in the Islands and will be a gathering place for promoting Filipino culture and heritage, Churma said….

The center itself will be a three-story, 50,000-square-foot facility. The first floor will be leased to retail businesses, the second floor will have a large assembly area and commercial kitchen, and the third will allow space for other nonprofit companies that provide community services including health, education and employment training.

Churma said plans include a community technology center to improve small-business computer skills for new immigrants and struggling family enterprises.

Western Engineering Ltd. is general contractor for the project, with completion expected by June 2002.






ACT 221


















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Last Update August 20, 2006, by The Catbird