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!