|left: Aunty Moana, right: Kanoa; middle: their chick|
The reason why we wait on naming our chick is cuz... well, every time we lay an egg, Kanoa and I wait...because sometimes our chick passes away before it fledges...and that's very sad. I'll try and talk more about that in another post..
Anyway, here's how it works; the US Fish and Wildlife Service runs our Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. They can't study every single one of us birds on the whole island; so what they do is measure out smaller sections of the island and study all the birds of a particular kind that are in that section. Try look at "Midway Map" tab on the top menu bar of this blog. You'll see the red-numbered areas are for Red-tailed Tropicbirds: 1, 7 and 8. Albatross areas are in green; Black-footed in B1, B7 and B8, and we Laysan have L7 and L10.
I live in L10, and I love it here; you can see on the map that it's right in town, not far from the National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. I know everything that's going on. Many of my friends say I'm nīele (nosy, a busybody), but I don't think so. Here's a close-up of me, with band F344 on my right leg. Can you see the aluminum band on my left leg? You don't get that until you're just about ready to fledge.
When our L10 neighborhood was first set up, the biologists put bird bands on all us Laysans that were in here. My band is F344; nice, huh? Every year since then, when Kanoa and I set up a nest, the biologists come around and put a stake in the ground near our nest. There were a lot of nests in L10 this year; our nest was #79. Then the scientists know that the egg in that nest, and the chick that hatches out of it, is ours! When he was old enough, they put band P303 on our chick; here's a picture of him taken about a week ago, on May 29; cute, ya?! Lotsa down; the biologists call it the "DFC, downy feathered chick" stage.
So I'm F344 and our chick is P303. Kanoa and I are working hard to keep him alive and healthy. Here's a picture of me feeding the little guy. I'll try and post lotsa pictures of him; that way, all you folks following this blog can see my chick grow up!
|Aunty Moana feeding her chick, #P303|