I captured these native Hawaiian seabirds outside my office the other day. I’ve been watching the little baby for the past couple weeks sitting on that branch. Apparently these Mana-o-ku, or white fairy terns return every year to this same branch to nest. “Nest” is a generous term because as far as I can tell there’s no nest up there of any kind. They just simply sit up there on that branch.
Once or twice a day I’ve seen the mama bird go sea-bound to catch fish, leaving the baby bird sitting up there on the branch for what seems like a 4 or 5 hour stretch all by itself. It’s a little precarious to say the least, not to mention a bit sketchy being a little vulnerable puffball bait for predators. But day after day, it’s still there and growing — probably the reason we’ve seen these same birds return to the same spot year after year since it’s apparently so safe.