The big question as of late seems to be "Is Wisdom ok?" If anyone doesn't know, Wisdom is now recogized as the oldest wild bird in the U.S. at least 60 years old (she was banded as a breeding adult in 1956). There's no reason to think she's not ok, since her nest was not in an area that was affected by the tsunami. If she was at her nest, she would have been ok, and if she was feeding, she would most likely have been flying out in open ocean. I'll let you know when we spot her though.
I have been putting up some of my pictures on the USFWS Flickr site. Many of them are here on my blog, but I posted a few more there. There are also some photos of Laysan Island, and a map that I made of the flooded areas of the islands on Midway. It's worth looking at it (it's the last of the 50 pictures).
There is also an official news release at:
http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ It is under the Recent News Releases toward the bottom.
We had another couple of days of finding more buried birds. And we did some more cleanup of the Monument seep on Eastern Island. We sometimes have problems with botulism outbreaks in the endangered Laysan ducks. Decaying proteins (i.e. dead birds, fish, and vegetative debris) can give the botulism bacteria great growing conditions, so it was important to get that out.
Aside from a visitor's group from the Oceanic Society, we also got the crews from Laysan Island and Kure Atoll. They were all a big help with seep cleanup and habitat restoration. The NOAA ship Hi'ialakai was kind enough to evacuate the island crews to Midway. They will put new crews on those islands soon.
Thank you all again!
This seal found its way into a washed up net on the boat ramp. Luckily, it wasn't stuck too bad yet and we could quickly pull the net back over its head. It went right back to sleep after we removed the net.
I finally found this chick after 6 days. It was still alive, and still pretty snappy.
This Black-footed albatross only had one wing stuck for days. The 2 Laysan albatross in the photo only had their heads uncovered. Albatrosses can sit on their nests for weeks without going for food, so as long as they aren't too stressed, there is a possibility that they can survive.
One of our visitors, Connie, is freeing a buried Laysan albatross. Most of the birds are biting while we dig them out, making it a bit more difficult. I've got about 20 separate cuts from them on my hand. They usually quit biting as soon as we pull them out.
You can see the NOAA ship Hi'ialakai in the background as their SAFEboat brings in the 5 people from Kure Atoll.
Enough of the depressing pictures. There is still a lot of life here, and our facilities are all still intact. For instance, here's Captain Brooks Tavern.
The white terns seemed to be mostly unaffected since they usually sit in trees or on raised objects. I have better white tern pics on my older posts.