Member since: May 2, 2012
A Field story
We cannot lose her. We run through the thick forest of Samoa tripping over roots as my eyes scan the sky. There, no there…. she is moving through the trees fast and then disappears. We run towards her from two directions and yes we have it the first nest! The world’s first recorded ma’o ma’o nest. A very important find not only for us, but also for this endangered species. Of course to the mother I am but another threat to the small chick huddled in the nest and the mother cries angrily as we climb up the trees, me clumsily with all my ropes and equipment and my more agile local research assistant who free climbs the tree like a staircase.
The first nest reveals so much in this moment. There is only one chick which we are to learn as another few nests are discovered is all that Mrs Mao will produce in a year, but with the nest camera attached big brother style we learn so much more as the days pass. Geckos are popular snack it turns out and introduced rats are a threat not only to the chick but also to the mother bird sleeping on the nest. The days pass and we become fond of our first chick until the day comes when as we watch the he flap his wings and take his first awkward steps out of the nest. The mother bird must care for her clumsy chick feeding it continually for two more months before it will leave her. This chick represents the start of our research program and hope that we can do something to change the plight of this species before it will be too late.