The bird is also known as Manu o Ku, and is an important bird in Polynesian navigation. In the morning, Manu o Ku is generally flying away from land for a day of fishing. Toward the end of the day the bird is returning to land. This information helps a navigator know which way land is.
|White Terns mating in an ironwood tree.|
|banyan tree, with my bicycle for scale|
On Wednesday June 23, as I was exploring Midway's Sand Island, I bicycled past a beautiful, big banyan tree. Some of the hanging aerial roots were interesting because someone long ago must have tied a few young ones into knots, and they continued to grow that way.
A Fairy Tern was perched on one of these big knots. Something looked a little different about this Fairy Tern. I crept closer and took this picture on the right. Notice how the stomach feathers are fluffed out? This bird was sitting on an egg!
I didn't want to disturb it, so I walked away slowly. The next day I bicycled back to see how it was doing. And look who had hatched out! --a downy, tan chick! I decided to visit the Banyan Chick, as I called it, every once in awhile to watch it grow up. I'm sorry if my pictures are a little fuzzy. I had to stand far away from the chick sometimes and use the camera's zoom. If I got too close to the chick, the parents dive-bombed me!
Today is Wednesday, August 11, seven weeks after I first noticed the parent Tern sitting on the egg. Here's what Banyan Chick looks like now. Getting some nice, white feathers among the tan down, don't you think?!