So I went to investigate. Yep; there they were: I could see many feathers sticking out of the sand all along the beach. You can see three in front of this Laysan Albatross.
Over the years I've seen lots of feathers along many beaches, but they've always been lying down flat on the sand. I've never seen even one feather stuck point down into the beach...unless someone did it on purpose.
Katie and Thea said they didn't do it; so who did?
|crabs browsing the tide line|
And then a whole handful of feathers floated in. They were all attached to a rotting piece of Laysan Albatross skin, I think. The crabs seemed to get closer and closer to the feather mass. Finally, one hopped onto the feathers and began eating; yum!
Have a look at the 8 feathers in these pictures. I pulled the 4 top feathers out of the beach; the bottom 4 came from the mass of feathers that had washed ashore. Is it my imagination, or do the beach feathers looked "chewed up," both the feather edges and the pointed quill ends?
I think crabs are pulling feathers into their holes just like we bring take-out food to our homes!