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Hello! Here is an image of what I assume to be a continuing Least Tern, but something seems off. Is it molting?

Least tern? 8/25/18

It was seen at the Pearl harbor NWR, on 8/25/18.

Thanks!

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Just a note -- Least Tern is very, very rare in Hawaii. Knowing that there is one hanging around changes things a bit, but I'd definitely keep an eye on what's being seen there. If something else shows up, then you'll want to reconsider this shot, because I don't think there's really enough here to establish Least. (For one thing, we should probably consider Little Tern as a possibility... there are current records for Midway, which I know is a long ways away. So is anywhere you expect to see Least.)

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2 hours ago, psweet said:

Just a note -- Least Tern is very, very rare in Hawaii. Knowing that there is one hanging around changes things a bit, but I'd definitely keep an eye on what's being seen there. If something else shows up, then you'll want to reconsider this shot, because I don't think there's really enough here to establish Least. (For one thing, we should probably consider Little Tern as a possibility... there are current records for Midway, which I know is a long ways away. So is anywhere you expect to see Least.)

This one is apparently part of a long-staying pair, and was seen by several more people a few hours later. Some have started breeding on the Big Island, but overall have a mysterious presence in Hawaii. You can read more about it here: http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph/pdfs/05-LARI-ALCI/LETE.pdf :classic_smile:

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Fair enough -- my point here is that I don't think the photo by itself is sufficient to ID a rare species. (Things have clearly changed since I was out there - Least would have been just about unheard of back then.) Again, if there's a known Least in the area and nothing else, then this is sufficient -- it's clearly not any of the locally common terns.

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7 hours ago, psweet said:

Fair enough -- my point here is that I don't think the photo by itself is sufficient to ID a rare species. (Things have clearly changed since I was out there - Least would have been just about unheard of back then.) Again, if there's a known Least in the area and nothing else, then this is sufficient -- it's clearly not any of the locally common terns.

That makes sense. Thank you for your input! :classic_smile:

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