Lines of Force

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.


Eye Candy

Tern Island beach, French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

Behind the scenes of this photo

Taken on Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals, Northwest Hawaiian Islands on March 11th, 2009

When I had the opportunity to visit Tern Island, a tiny coral speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I had one image and one image only in mind that I wanted to capture while I was there: an image of puffy white clouds in a deep blue sky floating above crystal-clear, aquamarine waters. So imagine my delight when the ideal conditions rolled in a mere week after I’d been on the island. And as it turns out, I was extremely lucky to get the image I did, for even though I stayed on the island for another three weeks, this combination of perfect clouds and color never repeated itself.