satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Albino" Laysan Albatross Chick

Here's the picture I promised of the "albino" chick. A normal Laysan Albatross chick would be dark gray, almost black, perhaps with a bit of "frosting" on the downy head. But this chick's feathers are entirely white. Examine the dark eyes; they obviously have pigment. Therefore, this is not truly an albino; I believe it's called "leucystic," meaning almost an albino.

These birds don't survive in the wild as well as the normally colored LAAL. Even though their eyes appear normal, we scientists think they don't see as well, and therefore can't catch enough squid, one of their favorite foods, to stay healthy.

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