Join us Sunday, January 8, for the first White Tern Walk of 2023! The quiet courtyard at the Biomedical Sciences Building (red circle on attached map) has been transformed into a White Tern nursery with eggs and chicks in most of the trees in this secluded, protected spot on the UH campus. We'll meet in the courtyard at 0900 for the walk. There's plenty of free parking in the adjacent parking lot (blue box on the map). RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 to reserve your spot.
The 2023 White Tern breeding season is getting underway in downtown Honolulu! These walks will feature some of the breeding pairs that have returned to Oahu and have already laid eggs and hatched chicks in the center of the city. Sunday morning is the perfect time to visit the terns peacefully tending eggs and chicks in nesting trees along normally busy downtown streets. Meet in the parking lot in front of the post office across from the Iolani Palace between Merchant and South King Streets at 9:00 on Sunday, November 6 or Sunday, November 13, if you'd like to join us. RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 to reserve your place.
The 2023 White Tern breeding season is getting underway in downtown Honolulu! This walk will feature some of the breeding pairs that have returned to Oahu and have already laid eggs and hatched chicks in the center of the city. Sunday morning is the perfect time to visit the terns peacefully tending eggs and chicks in nesting trees along normally busy downtown streets. Meet in the parking lot in front of the post office across from the Iolani Palace between Merchant and South King Streets at 9:00 on Sunday, October 9, if you'd like to join us. RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 to reserve your place.
Join us on Sunday, September 25, from 9:00 to 10:30 for a walk that will take in some of the active White Tern nesting spots in the heart of Waikiki. Meet behind the stage at the base of the big banyan tree at the Royal Hawaiian Center on Kalakaua Avenue at 9:00 if you'd like to join us. RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 to reserve your space.
Join us Sunday, September 4, for a guided tour of portions of the UH campus where White Terns are currently nesting. Weʻll meet in the SOEST courtyard (red circle on attached map snippet) at 0900 for this walk, sponsored by the UH Campus Arboretum, Hawaii Audobon Society and the Hui Manu o Ku. Plenty of parking in the parking lot behind the Kennedy Theater (blue square on the map snippet). RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 to reserve your spot.
We are all aware that the White Terns breeding in the greater Honolulu area enrich our lives in a number of ways. It turns out that while doing that they also enrich the soil under our feet. As KCC student Meeya Odell documented in a recently completed study, Manu o Ku make a “non-trivial contribution of nitrogen and phosphorus” to the urban ecosystem in which we live. They do this by consuming fish from the ocean and then depositing their droppings (ie, pooping) on the ground across their breeding range on Oahu. If you have spent any time watching the terns you’ve probably seen them squirt a stream of white excrement while roosting in a tree or even while flying overhead. A single squirt from a single tern may not seem like much but the amount of nutrients deposited by the growing number of terns over the course of a year contributes to the resiliency of the island ecosystem of which we are a part. Watch as Meeya describes the role of Manu-o-Ku poop in nutrient recycling and how she went about measuring the size of their contribution to this important process.
Mahalo to Meeya for increasing our understanding of the ways in which the White Terns benefit us and the island we live on!
One of the highlights of the 2022 Manu o Ku Festival was the unveiling of the Hui Manu o Ku’s new logo. We are very grateful to JoAnne Maney for working with us to come up with a design that captures some of what makes this bird so special. JoAnna is an award-winning Honolulu-based artist with a special interest in native birds. She has been painting and selling Hawaiian wildlife artwork locally since 2018. A lifelong artist and bird lover, she won her very first art contest with a bird illustration at the age of six.
Most recently JoAnna was named as one of two winners of the 2022-2023 Hawai‘i Wildlife Conservation and Game Bird Stamp Art Contest by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR DOFAW). Her Conservation Stamp artwork features the ‘i’iwi, the forest bird that prompted her passion with native Hawaiian species.
We are very grateful for JoAnna’s willingness to so generously share with the Manu o Ku Ohana this expression of her creative talents and passion for Hawaii’s native birds.
You can visit JoAnna’s website at www.wanderingfinch.com or follow her on Instagram @wandering_finch to see more of her work. She generously donates 10% of sale profits to local bird conservation efforts.
Heads up to all White Tern watchers! There recently was a rare sighting of a banded tern at UH which very fortunately Melody Bentz documented in this photograph. We have banded dozens of chicks over the past 6 years as part of our study of White Tern breeding behavior on Oahu and this is the first one that we have seen as an adult. Most of the terns we have banded have a red plastic band on one leg and a silver metal one on the other. We banded this tern as a chick in October 2019 in the tree where it hatched in the courtyard of the Biomedical Building on the UH campus. Melody saw and photographed it as an adult near the SOEST building. When photographed it was near a chick but it’s not clear at this point if it’s a parent of the chick. Adult terns that are approaching breeding age sometimes show an interest in chicks that aren’t their’s which would be consistent with a White Tern this age (approximately 3 years). If you see this tern with a red band with the number 82 please call or text the Manu o Ku Hotline at 808-379-7555. Actually, please call the hotline if you see any banded tern; there are over 100 of them that we know about and we are very interested in sightings of any of them.
Mark your calendars! The 7th annual Manu o Ku Festival will be held on the grounds of the Iolani Palace on Saturday, May 7. Activities kick off at 10:00 AM with displays and activities for the family running till 2:00 PM. This year during the runup to the festival there will also be activities every day May 1-6 at the Internaitonal Market Place. Check out the festival webpage for the complete program. Hope to see you there!
We have two walks scheduled for February, both beginning at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. We will meet at 9AM under the large banyan tree near the stage located on the makai side of Kalakaua Avenue across from the intersection with Seaside Avenue. Parking is available in the parking garage attached to the International Market Place, across Kalakaua and accessed from Kuhio Avenue. The dates for the walks are:
- Saturday, February 19, 2022
- Sunday, February 27, 2022
RSVP by text to 808-379-7555 and please bring a mask.