Last week’s new arrival was hatched into this world in a relatively quiet and peaceful stand of Kukui trees near the war memorial on Richards Street. White Terns like this kind of urban environment for raising their young. The surroundings for this week’s new arrival could hardly be more different. It was hatched sometime during the past week, a little more than 20 feet up in a Shower Tree at the busy intersection of Kalakaua Ave and Kalaimoku St on the Waikiki strip. From its perch this chick will have a lot of traffic to watch - pedestrian and vehicle - over the next few months. Contrary to what you would think, White Terns also like this kind of urban environment for raising their young. At least that’s what the nesting map seems to show. Kalakaua Ave, with it’s non-stop traffic is one of the most densely packed stretches of nesting trees in the entire study area. In fact, this chick joins a veritable colony of young White Terns that currently call this part of Waikiki home. Just around the corner on Kalaimoku, a juvenile (at GPS point 1015 on the nesting map) splits its time between taking practice flights around the neighborhood and perching and preening just across the street from the Ritz Carlton and Tiffany’s. Back down Kalakaua in front of the Luana Hotel (GPS point 1014), a large chick spends its days largely unnoticed by the steady flow of pedestrians passing just below the spot 14’ 10” above the sidewalk where it hatched about a month ago. And about 50 feet back up Kalakaua (GPS point 519) , on a limb hanging out over the east-bound bus lane is another chick that hatched around the first of September. They are at different stages of development but they are all part of the 2016 cohort of the growing Oahu manu-o-Kū population.
Photo Credit: Rich Downs