Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Volunteers and book.

We didn't have any major excitement this week.  Just the usual things like albatross chicks getting bigger and visitors taking photos of them.  We also swapped out volunteers last week.  Thanks Dan, Karen, Ann, and Nik!  RJ, Peter, Jennifer, and Laura Marie will be helping us out for the next few months. 

There's a new book out about Wisdom, our 60+ year old Laysan albatross.  It's a children's book written by Darci Pattison and illustrated by Kitty Harvill.  Kitty used some of my photos to make her illustrations.  It's worth a look, especially if you know some youngsters who like wildlife.  You can download it for your kindle too.

                                                     Wisdom, the Midway Albatross

I'll also put in this link again for more updates from Chris Jordan's group. They got a lot of footage while they were here so they are still posting interesting videos. 

I don't have a lot of pictures this week since my camera quit working, so I've only got my little point and shoot.  I hope they can repair it relatively quickly.

 A small green sea turtle is looking for algae to eat on this broken old bucket.

This albatross chick doesn't seem to mind the red-tailed tropicbird sitting next to it.

One of these chicks wandered over from another nest.  I'm not sure if all 4 parents are feeding these chicks, but if only 2 parents are feeding both chicks, then neither will probably make it.

This is the view from the pier on Eastern Island looking to the East.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Back to Midway

I'm back on Midway after 2 weeks off island.  I was at the Pacific Seabird Group meeting on Oahu where I gave a talk on the Short-tailed albatrosses on Midway.  I met a lot of people that I had been emailing for years.  I also took a couple of days to go over to the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai to give them a hand.  They sometimes have problems with botulism in Hawaiian ducks, coots, moorhens, and stilts, so I was showing them how we deal with botulism on our refuge.

Chris & Victoria Jordan, Jan, Joe, and Jim left on the flight that I came in on.  It would have been nice to be here with them since I learn a lot from just watching them film their movie.  Don't forget to look at their updates on their page: 

The Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai has active taro farms, which makes for good habitat for waterbirds.

There are 3 endangered species in this photo.  There is a Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian Coot (white face), and some Hawaiian Moorhens.  The Common mynas and Black-crowned night heron aren't endangered.

Here is a better picture of a Hawaiian stilt foraging in the taro.

Here is a better shot of some Hawaiian moorhens in a ditch.

The Hawaiian geese (Nene) are also endangered.  I didn't get any good photos of the endangered Hawaiian ducks.

Although Kauai has a pretty good breeding population of Laysan albatross at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, I didn't have time to get over to see them.  These 3 chicks were in my backyard.  The parents have started leaving them alone, but there still are a few still hatching.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I'm in Honolulu for 2 weeks, but I have enough for a blog entry this week.  On Midway, the albatross chicks are hatching and it looks like over half of them are out already.  I also didn't tell you about one of the monk seals on Midway.  A couple of National Marine Fisheries Service monk seal workers came out to catch one of the seals that was attacking young seals.  Here's an article about it.
I didn't help out on the capture of this seal since I was out in the boat doing the medevac that I wrote about last week.  But I did help move the cage when the C-130 came to pick it up.  The cage weighed over 200 pounds, plus the seal at about 450 lbs., so it took about 8 people to lift it. 

Chris Jordan came back out with his crew this week.  I'd like to be around for their visit, but I'll be at the Pacific Seabird Group Meeting.  You can check up on Chris' film project at:
They've got some really good video and writeups on there, as ususal.

Honolulu is also the same as usual.  Warm, mostly sunny, and a lot of traffic.  And by the way, the last half of the photos aren't Midway.

A few hours before I left on the plane, a Short-tailed albatross showed up in the Midway House yard.  I put some decoys near it, but it didn't seem to care and it left a bit later.  They've been coming to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a lot this year.  There have been 3 on Kure, 5 at Midway (not counting the chick), 1 on Laysan Island, and 1 on Tern Island. 

 This little chick is asking for some food.

The chick is getting its squid oil.

 This Laysan albatross isn't quite sure what to think about this Bonin petrel.  They are not out in the daytime very often, and this one went down its hole pretty quickly.

 I went on a hike with the other people staying in the bunkhouse on the Kuliouou Ridge Trail.  It was a nice one.  (Not a Midway pic)

 I don't know these people, but it was a nice view of the trail.

 Here's a view of Diamondhead from the back.  You can see a plane coming in for a landing at the airport.

 This is a view of Hawaii Kai.  This is a Red-vented bulbul.  It looks nice, but is invasive.

 Leanne is coming down a steep part of the trail.

 This is looking toward Waimanalo Beach.

Here's another non-native bird.  This is a White rump sharma.  They are also fairly common, but not native to Hawaii.