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.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monk Seal Morning

Sleep late on a Sunday morning?  Not me; even on Sundays I like to wake up on the early side.  A little after sunrise I was on North Beach walking along the lagoon's edge.  I looked down; there were more crab holes than I've ever seen on any seashore.  This tells me what an undisturbed beach this is; no dogs to bite the crabs!

I looked up and...RIGHT THERE in front of me was a Hawaiian Monk Seal!  It must have come ashore while I was paying attention to the crab holes.  Oh no!  The Refuge -- or anywhere: O`ahu, Maui, Moloka`i...ANYwhere -- requires that we stay 150 feet away from these rare and endangered animals.  Hawaiian Monk Seals are VERY sensitive to disturbance.

I definitely agree with that rule, so I immediately turned around and walked quietly but steadily inland.  When I was far enough away, I slowly sat down and watched through my binoculars.The seal seemed a bit unsettled.  
He (or she) looked around, and then humped further up the slope, dug its nose into the beach and tossed sand over its back.  When it had quite a pile, he settled down. Perhaps the sand will keep bothersome flies away while he snoozes late on a Sunday morning.

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