Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Manu o Ku, Hawaii's "Bird of Peace"

It was a new bird in the mango tree last week.  A pair, actually.  At first I thought it was a pigeon, but the wing span (the bird book says 24") was too wide, the wing shape wrong.  And the color!  This fellow clean, white, with black beak, large black eyes, and dark feet  A beautiful, unique bird.  Here he is, more or less as I first saw him.

The bird book says he is a Fairy Tern (Gygis Alba), a native in Hawai'i and not to be confused with the Australian Fairy Tern.   To avoid confusion, he is better known as White Tern.  Or by his Hawaiian name, Manu o Ku.  He is a listed as threatened species, but his numbers are increasing.  He's migratory, arriving in April and leaving again in September.  Some breeding pairs like Hawaii so much that they remain here year round.

He is described as friendly and curious, not afraid of people.  Nope, not afraid; I thought one was going to land on my head the other day!  A fish-eating sea bird, but raises its young on a tree branch -- sans nest.  Raises only one chick at a time, but may have three nesting cycles in a season.

More looking.  The Fairy Tern may be threatened, but is considered a common bird in the major parks around Oahu and in the unpopulated islands and atolls of the northern end of the Hawaiian chain.  He is also the official bird of the City of Honolulu.

Give thanks for those things -- like the birds -- that add beauty to our lives!
Don't forget to pray ....
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  1. Beautiful new bird for me too! Thanks for posting!

  2. I love this bird! I first noticed this bird when I moved into an apartment in Honolulu, I lived on an upper floor. And when on my balcony this white bird flew up to my face and stared at me with her beautiful big black eyes, while flapping her wings to stay steady near my face. I was startled and enchanted at the same time. This species of bird Manu O Ku must survive. It's so elegant and mystical.....


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