See below for an amazing White Tern volunteer opportunity with the Honolulu Zoo!
My name is Shelby Carlos (email@example.com) and I work for the Honolulu Zoo Society, in partnership with the Honolulu Zoo. We have been working as the soft release site for any young terns that have been unable to be replaced in a tree or needing rehabilitation, working with both the Hui Manu o Ku and the Hawaii Wildlife Center. This has been a great program, about a year running to date, and we hope that things will keep growing and that we will be able to be a safe place for all these young terns to come and get a little more care and attention before heading out on their own into the wild.
All of this can't be done without the help and support of amazing volunteers. Volunteers with the soft release program aid us in taking behavioral notes, speaking with the public about the Manu o Ku and helping with supplemental feeding of the birds in the program at one or more of the three feeding per day. And as we get further into this program and receive more terns we are in need of more great volunteers who have a passion for these birds to help them along their way.
That is where you can come in! If you are interested in other Manu o Ku opportunities we would love to have you take part in our program here at the Honolulu Zoo!
Interested in getting started as a new volunteer? Please start by going to www.honoluluzoo.org/volunteer , read over the different sections and start your online application. Please note that we ask for all volunteers to upload a current photo, TB test within 2 years, a signed waiver of liability and a background check to the application. The links for the waiver and background check can be found under "other requirements" on the volunteer page.
We will be hosting an informational training were we will be showcasing the soft release program, the soft release area, and layout of how we are working with the birds once they are here at the zoo. We will be looking at scheduling and how you can best take part in this program at the close of the training.
The informational training will be on Sunday, August 25th from 1:30-3:30PM.
Please RSVP so we can have a headcount and follow up with you prior to the training.
Have you been thinking that maybe you’d like to learn more about what’s involved with rescuing white tern chicks that fall from the trees? Maybe you’ve wondered if there was something you could be do to be part of helping to reunite them with their parents. We’re going to be offering a couple of sessions over the next few weeks to provide an orientation to what happens after a call comes in to the Hui Manu o Ku hotline reporting a fallen white tern chick. We’ll describe the process and protocols we follow to attempt to reunite chicks with their parents and demonstrate some of the tools and techniques we use. And we’ll help those who are interested to identify specific ways they can become part of the effort to rescue terns in need.
The first orientation session will take place this Saturday, August 10. We’ll meet under the big banyan behind the Iolani Palace at 9:00 and should be finished by 10:30. Please RSVP by calling or texting 808-379-7555 to receive your spot.
It's late in the breeding season but there are still some great viewing opportunities at some of the best White Tern nesting spots in the downtown Honolulu area. Join us on Saturday, August 17, as we check out the eggs and chicks in trees around the Iolani Palace and state capitol building. We’ll meet at 9:00 under the big banyan tree behind the Iolani Palace. The walk will end at about 10:30.
At 10:30, after the walk, we’ll provide a brief orientation for anyone interested in learning how to monitor white tern nests and submit reports on their observations. The orientation will also take place under the banyan tree behind the Iolani Palace.
Please RSVP by texting 808-379-7555 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you’ll be attending the orientation session or the tern walk. Feel free to bring your camera as there should be plenty of opportunities to get some great photos!
Thomas Square has long been an active part of the white tern breeding ground on Oahu. Join us on Saturday, July 20, for a late afternoon White Tern Walk that will showcase some of the active nesting spots in this newly renovated urban park.
In addition to visiting some really interesting nesting spots we’ll also talk about one of the partnerships that have formed over the last few years to better protect the Manu o Ku on Oahu. We’ll be joined on this walk by Lake Gibby, an arborist and a member of the tree trimming community that plays a critical role in maintaining the breeding habitat for the terns in our urban environment. Lake has also used his skills as a professional tree climber to help us reunite dozens of fallen chicks with their parents. We’re happy to have Lake join us for this walk and to give participants a chance to learn more about the important role the arborist community is playing in the life of this urban seabird.
We’ll meet at the base of the Admiral Thomas statue on the makai side of the park at 5:00 PM. Please RSVP by text to 808-379-7555.
The 2019 White Tern breeding season on Oahu continues to provide numerous outstanding viewing opportunities. Join us on Saturday, June 22, from 9:00 to 10:30 for a walk that will take in some of the best of the best white tern nests 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. Please RSVP by text to 808-379-7555.
Elena Levorato spent a couple of months this past winter learning about and assisting with seabird rehabilitation as an intern at the Hawaii Wildlife Center. Part of her training involved tending and feeding white tern chicks that were finishing their rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild at the Honolulu Zoo. Since her stint as an intern on the big island and Oahu she has since moved on to the Seychelles where she continues to learn about seabirds of the Pacific and their conservation. Elena recently sent back to the Hui Manu o Ku a fascinating report on the white terns living and breeding on Aride Island in the Seychelles and a very specific threat they encounter there. Below is her report on the white terns and the Pisonia tree on Aride Island.
I know that this page is mostly dedicated to white terns from Honolulu, but I think it would be interesting to also talk about those who live elsewhere in the world. On Aride Island (Seychelles) there are lots of white terns, everywhere! Sadly, the breeding success is very low compared to those from Hawaii, even if there are no predators (no cats, no rats, no dogs) on the island. The reason of this low success is unclear, but the presence of Pisonia grandis does not help the terns’ population. Pisonia is a tropical tree mainly found on tropical islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Seabirds love to nest on this tree, especially the lesser noddies (Anous tenuirostris) and the white terns (Gygis alba). If this tree provides a good shelter, it has a trap: the sticky seeds. When the seeds are mature, they fall on the ground and stick very easily to the feathers. During this period of the year, it is common to see noddies, tropicbirds and white terns on the ground, unable to fly because the wings and the tail are covered with seeds. This dramatic scenario is actually a natural way the tree uses to disperse the seeds, and it was hypothesized that bird carcasses could be a good fertilizer to help new plants to develop. However, more researches are needed to better understand this phenomenon.
The staff from ICS (Island Conservation Society) working on this island, try to help the birds found in distress, when this is possible. However, it is not a simple task: the seeds have small spines and a sticky substance, so it is better to be two people, one holding the bird and the second trying to remove the seeds without pulling out the feathers.
For more information regarding Pisonia grandis, click on those links:
For more information regarding Aride Island, visit the following link: https://www.arideisland.com/
The 2019 edition of the Manu o Ku Festival is just around the corner and here's your chance to help get the word out! The Conservation Council of Hawaii has just received a fresh supply of the beautiful posters for this year's festival. If you know of some places where they could be placed please call Jonee Peters at Conservation Council for Hawaii to let her know how many posters you would like. Jonee's number is (808) 593-0255 and the CCH offices are located at 250 Ward Ave Ste 212, Honolulu.
Check out Hawai'i Magazine's article titled 8 Things you Need to Know about Honolulu's White Fairy Tern. Mahalo Kevin Allen for featuring White Terns and the Hui Manu-o-Ku!
Monkeypod. Shower. Kukui. These are the three species of trees that white terns nesting on Oahu pick most often for breeding purposes. And these are the trees that most White Tern Walks have focused on. This monthʻs White Tern Walk will feature terns that are taking advantage of the incredible variety of trees available to them for nesting at the amazing arboretum that is the UH Manoa campus. In addition to the usual monkeypod, shower and kukui, youʻll see terns nesting in a wild chataigne, a baleric myrobalan and other exotic species of trees - something you can only see at UH Manoa!
Join us on Saturday, April 20, for this special Terns and Trees Guided Tour at the UH Manoa. Weʻll meet in front of the Sinclair Library at 0900 for this walk, sponsored by the UH Campus Arboretum, Hawaii Audobon Society and the Hui Manu o Ku.
Aloha White Tern Photographers!
The fourth annual Manu o Ku Festival is being held at the Iolani Palace on Saturday May 18, 2019 and will again feature a White Tern Digital Photo Exhibit. Submissions are now being accepted for the exhibit that are taken of white terns here on Oahu. Submission to the exhibit is open to everyone, free of charge! All you need to do is email your photos to email@example.com with whatever descriptions you’d like posted with the photos. You’ll get photo credit for your submission and our promise that we won’t further distribute or reuse your photos without your permission.
The purpose of the photo exhibit is to share with festival goers what many of us have been fortunate to see and photograph. This year we’ve created a number of categories for your submissions and you are invited to submit up to five photos for each category. The categories are:
- Terns and Fish: White terns carrying fish and feeding their chicks. These photos will also support Sarah Donahue’s research on white tern diet.
- Terns and Blossoms: Terns perched or flying amongst tree blossoms
- Terns as Art: “Artistic” images of terns captured with a camera (with or without post-processing effects applied) or that are drawn or painted (and then photographed for submission to the exhibit). Let your creative juices flow!
- Terns just being terns: Terns flying, nesting, preening, sleeping, interacting with chicks, etc.
Photos taken with any type of camera are welcome. As they say, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” And sometimes the camera in our pocket is the only one we have when we see the terns doing something interesting. Don’t feel as though your photos aren’t worthy of submission because you didn’t use a big camera with a huge lens. If you like the photo you took with your cell phone we want to give you a chance to share it with others!
Some tern behaviors are best captured in video and so there will also be a category for short videos of terns. It’s requested that you keep videos to a maximum of 60 seconds in length.
The new breeding season is underway and trees around greater Honolulu are full of nesting terns and their chicks. Now’s the time to grab your camera and get some shots. Check out the nest map on the Hui Manu o Ku webpage at for the location of known nests that are currently active. The deadline for submissions is May 11, 2019.
We're offering an “app” to make it easier for you to find nesting spots that are particularly good for photographing the terns. The app uses Google Earth installed on your smartphone or tablet to show you the locations of trees with nesting spots that are low in the tree and visually more accessible. Clicking the pin marking the location of the tree on the map will display a photo showing you where to look in the tree to find the nesting spot. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the app.
Thanks in advance for your participation in the 4th Annual Manu o Ku Festival’s digital photo exhibit.
A hui hou!