Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Winter!

We've been getting a lot of wind and rain for the past week, and it's supposed to continue through this week too.  I'm not complaining.  At least it's in the 60's, although with people in winter coats and wool hats, you wouldn't guess that.

We had a group come to the island for a couple of days this week.  People on the Monument Management Board (USFWS, NOAA, and the State of Hawaii) were able to visit.  We always like to have people who are involved in management decisions come out and are able to see what it's like out here.  Most of them end up saying, "I knew there were a lot of birds here, but I didn't expect this many".  

 Wisdom's mate is now back on the nest.  She's out filling up with food after laying that big egg.

 The MMB group is getting a tour of Eastern Island.  That brown stuff on the horizon is all of the dead verbesina that was recently sprayed.

 Is anyone missing their front bumper cover?

 We took the group out to Reef Hotel for snorkeling.  It was really rough.  You can see a big surge coming over the emergent reef toward Rick.

 This was the first time I've been out there where water was actually washing over the reef.  Normally it dissipates before it gets there.

The underwater photos weren't quite as good as usual with all the bubbles. 

This is what it is supposed to look like (taken in June).

"OH, OH, OH!  The Clipper House Christmas decorations are up.

This is the view out the back door of my house.  There was a decent rain, but you can't really tell from this photo.


Sheri said...

Has Wisdom's mate changed over the years?? How old is he?

Pete Leary said...

No one was watching Wisdom for most of her life, so no one knows how long she's had that mate. He wasn't banded until last year so nothing is known about him.

Unknown said...

Happy New Year!

Keep up the Good work......

Mona & Nelson

Pete Prellwitz said...

Hey, Pete!

Hope you're enjoying the holidays.

There's a lot of cool stuff on Wisdom, but I was curious, do you know who the second oldest albatross on the island is? What are typical age ranges? I know it's all dependent upon banding dates to determine age after full maturity is reached, but once banded, I'm guessing the database can provide some interesting numbers fairly easily.

Thanks for all you guys do out there!

Pete Leary said...

Thanks Mona and Nelson, Happy New Year to you too.
We don't know who the second oldest bird is. We don't have enough people working out here to track individual bands. It took a few years to find out that Wisdom was still alive after getting her band number. It's not easy data to go through. Before Wisdom, it was thought that most birds died by 40, and studies from a long time ago usually gave lifespans in the 20's.