A beautiful sight to behold, these White terns, Manu-o-Ku. Bright white, with a wingspan of around two feet, and a perfect fan of tail feathers, it is easy to understand another common name it has: angel tern. Black eye rings make it appear to have very large eyes. Its black bill is sharply pointed, and is dark blue at the base. The feet are a slate blue with yellowish webbing. Manu-o-Ku breed on tropical and subtropical islands, and are known for their unusual nesting behavior: instead of constructing a nest, they scout out any place that has a suitable depression, be it on a tree branch, a rocky ledge, on buildings, even on the ground. They breed throughout the NWHI, as well as O'ahu. A single egg is laid, which both parents incubate. They also share the feeding of the chick when it hatches. Manu-o-Ku go out to sea by day to forage, returning to roost on land in the late afternoon. Juvenile goatfish and flying fish are favorite meals, which they catch by dipping along the ocean surface, or by taking a quick dive. This diurnal movement from land to sea, then returning to land makes them a fairly reliable indicator of the direction of an island to the navigator and crew on the Hokule'a (though there are times when these birds may not return to land in the afternoon). They are thought to venture up to 120 miles out to sea, which may give the watchful crew a course direction for land long before it comes into view.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.