Tucked away on Cooke Street just makai of Kapiolani Boulevard is a row of shower trees that hosts several breeding pairs of white terns. Almost any time of the year there's at least one chick there in some stage of development. On or about July 5th one more chick hatched there. This nesting spot clings to the side of the trunk of the tree and is one of those that you look at and wonder what on earth the adults were thinking when they selected it. If you've watched white terns much at all, you know that they are very deliberate in their nesting spot selection. They don't lay an egg until both parents have closely inspected and approved the spot where they will be taking turns with incubation duties for an entire month. Bad site selection can have disastrous consequences for the egg and, if it survives to hatch, the chick. However, after successfully fledging one chick here earlier this year, this pair returned to tempt fate again. For a second time since February the parents are now feeding and caring for a chick on a precarious ledge that the youngster will call home for at least the next 6 or 7 weeks. Then, when it's able to fly and to choose where it'll perch for the rest of its growing-up time, it'll probably pick another spot in the tree with a little more room to move around!
Thanks to Don Poole for this stunning photo of the newly-hatched chick being fed. Awesome shot Don! You can check out more of Don's collection of amazing white tern photos at http://hawaiishotsphotography.com/fairy-tern.html