When it comes to conforming to a well-defined breeding cycle, White Terns are notoriously lax. They can be found laying eggs and raising chicks any month of the year. However, last year's white tern breeding season on Oahu was the first time two peak periods of egg laying were observed, one in the spring and another in the fall. Since then, we have been wondering if what we saw was a fluke or possibly the new norm. This year we saw the expected spike in the number of eggs laid in the spring and recent surveying documented 68 eggs laid in September and October, a repeat of the bump in breeding activity seen in the fall of 2016. It's still too soon to tell if the breeding season for white terns on Oahu now routinely includes two peaks of nesting activity, but what happened last year may be no fluke.
The map below shows the locations of the nesting spots where eggs were laid during the months of September and October. Eggs are still being incubated in most of the locations, meaning that in coming weeks there will be more and more newly hatched chicks to admire and adore!