Catch and Release

Molokai youth join effort to save endangered Hawaiian Coot.

Among the captured birds was AAV, a nasty Coot the girls nicknamed Angry-and-Violent, and to measure it they must endure nips and scratches. But they said working with the birds is worth the abuse. Moriah wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and the banding gives her valuable hands-on experience with wildlife.

Besides, she laughed, “Not all of them are vicious like that.”

Afterward, Lily carried the bird, flapping wings and all, to the pond’s edge. She loosened her grip and it took off into the water, thankful for its release. If it understood what all the poking and prodding was doing for its kind, it would probably be thankful for that too.


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