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.