White Tern Chick's Road Trip
As the White Tern breeding range on Oahu continues to expand we're on the lookout for Manu o Ku popping up in places where they haven't been seen nesting before. The North Shore is one area where they have not yet been documented laying eggs and raising chicks. That's what made the discovery of this large White Tern chick in Kailua last week quite a surprise. This chick may be able to make short hops between branches in the tree where it hatched. It might even be able to make some brief flights away from its nesting tree and back. But flying over or around the mountains from the only area on Oahu where they're known to breed, all the way to Kailua? Not likely, but how to explain how this chick made it all the way over there? Answer: It hitched a ride in the back of a pickup! That's right, a pickup truck that had been in the Honolulu area earlier in the day showed up in Kailua late Friday afternoon and happened to park right next to the car belonging to an observant Helena Kam. Helena knows her Hawaiian wildlife and quickly recognized this as a Manu o Ku chick that was a long way from home. She rescued the chick from the back of the pickup and, because of her quick action, we were able to deliver the youngster to the rehabber who will care for the chick until it's ready to rejoin the White Tern population. We would like to have been able to reunite the chick with its parents, but all things considered this is one lucky chick!
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