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, June 10, 2010

"Make Way For Ducklings"

I hope lots of you FOAM readers know the classic book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  In that make-believe story, policeman Michael stopped Boston traffic to allow Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings (Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack) to cross a busy street safely into Boston Public Garden to meet Mr. Mallard.

Today Adam, Greg and I cleared algae from one of the Midway ponds to "make way for ducklings;" we want them to be able to swim freely in the pond.  Nothing is controlling the limu (algae); it's very thick, from the bottom of the pond to the top.  We think that all this limu could trap ducklings, causing them to drown.  When the limu rots, it could cause an outbreak of botulism, which could cause many ducks to die.  The picture on the right shows me in waders just starting to remove algae.  Look how much there is!

Now take a look at the last picture; it shows what one of the ponds looked like right after our work.  Isn't the surface clear; didn't we "make way for ducklings?!"

And you know what?!  Just as we finished, a Laysan Duck flew in and landed right in the water.  It seemed to like the open surface; I think it had a smile on its face, but I couldn't be sure....


Kahiko said...

Oh, how nice! I see that you were working at what's called the Ball Field seeps. That pair of freshwater ponds is a short way south of the Clipper House Galley, which you can see on the "Midway Map" page of this blog.

Thank you sooooo much for removing the algae. Once I saw a duckling swim under water, but when it tried to come back up to the surface, it had to fight its way through the tight strings of algae. Thank goodness it didn't drown!

Chuck Hawkes said...

maybe you could plant some palms or rosewood or other type of trees so it would shade the seeps and keep the algae from growing.

Barb said...

Good idea, Chuck! I'll see if I can get an update from Midway.