University of Hawaii Press
88 pages | 79 color illustrations
Other native seabirds nest on O‘ahu and its nearby islands, but the graceful White Tern is the only species known to lay its eggs in the city’s nonnative trees, on window ledges, and on other man-made structures, making Honolulu unique among world cities. People who live in apartment buildings and work in office towers can watch parents brooding eggs and feeding chicks. An energetic fishing bird, the Manu-o-Kū can fly far from land in its search for fish and squid. Sailors on traditional voyaging canoes keep a close eye on them: as the sun starts to go down, the birds head home, effectively providing the bearing of nearby islands.
Today, White Terns are a common sight in Honolulu, from downtown parks to Nu‘uanu and Mānoa valleys to bustling Waikīkī, and the photogenic birds are gaining in popularity as their range increases. In bringing together data about White Terns from here and abroad, marine biologist Susan Scott has crafted a reliable, informative resource filled with remarkable photographs for anyone curious about Manu-o-Kū, Honolulu’s official bird.