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Manu Minute: Honolulu's Own Manu-o-Kū

Ann Tanimoto-Johnson, Manu-o-ku with chick, AMT_0019.jpg
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson
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Manu-o-Kū with chick.

The streets of Downtown Honolulu might not be the first place you'd think to bird watch, but at least one very special bird calls this city home: the indigenous manu-o-Kū, also known as the white tern.

These medium-sized seabirds are entirely white, with the exception of their large, dark eyes, encircled by black rings. Their otherworldly appearance has earned them the nicknames fairy tern and angel tern. Their song is far from heavenly, however — listen for their throaty grrich-grrich-grrich.

Patrick Hart interests in the ecology and conservation of Hawaiian forests and forest birds stem from years of living in a primitive field camp as a graduate student in the 1990’s at Hakalau Forest National wildlife refuge.
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson is the Lab Manager & Research Technician in the Hart Lab/Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Bioacoustics Lab. She researches the ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation of our native Hawaiian forests, birds, and bats.
Savannah Harriman-Pote rejoined The Conversation in 2021 after interning for Hawaiʻi Public Radio in the summers of 2018 and 2019. She also produces HPR's podcast Manu Minute in collaboration with The University of Hawaii at Hilo. She was born and raised on the Big Island, and she collects public radio mugs.
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