Sooty terns in flight, French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

Taken on Tern Island, Northwest Hawaiian Islands on March 13th, 2009

In 2009 I had the pleasure of volunteering for one month in the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Sanctuary in Hawaii. I was stationed during that time on the aptly named Tern Island, where every year approximately 160,000 Sooty Terns (plus 20 other seabird species) come to lay their eggs. I loved the Sooties because of their sheer numbers, striking patterns, cheerful calls, and curious dispositions. Many times while out and about on the tiny island, I’d turn around to find a Sooty hovering a foot or less behind me head, chirruping away.


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