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

A Downy Chick's Down

In Auntie Moana's post below, with the "bling" bracelet bands on a Laysan Albatross chick, she pointed out the chick's down.  It is soooooo fluffy!

Here's a close-up picture that I took of a single down feather.  It's really different from a typical feather.  Notice that there's only a little point where the down is embedded in the bird's skin, the way our hair is stuck into our skin.  Notice that down doesn't have a stiff, central shaft, like feathers we're used to seeing.

Anybody wonder why this down feather is white, when the Laysan Albatross chick in Auntie Moana's post has black down?!  For the answer, check this post's first comment!

1 comment:

Edward said...

I recognize a down feather from a "leucystis" Laysan Albatross. Many people would call the almost-completely white bird an albino, but if you look closely at the eyes, you'll see they have some pigment, or coloring; the eyes are not pink, like in a white, or albino rabbit. I'll post a picture of a leucystis bird in the next post