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.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goooooooo! Laysan Albatross Takeoff!

Imagine you're a Laysan Albatross chick. 

I know it's hard, but try.  You started life inside an egg.  Sure, a Laysan Albatross egg is bigger than the egg in your refrigerator.  But it's still an egg, and you're crammed in there for 2 months.

Then you hatch out of the egg; whew!  But the view doesn't get much better because you're so close to the ground, you can see the sky only when you look straight up.  And that's only when a parent isn't sitting over you.

About 5 months after hatching, you "fledge," meaning you lose the last of your downy feathers and you grow flight feathers.  Now you're ready for a long life spent mostly flying over the ocean!

But right now you're on the ground.  You've never, ever flown before.  How do you do it?  Well, first of all, you practice, like the albatross in the picture above.  Stretch out your wings, and get the hang of it, as shown in this practice video--

Laysan Albatross PREPARE to Fly from Barb Mayer on Vimeo.
Once you get the hang of it, you'll take off on this "albatross runway," like these adult birds.  Off you goooooooooo!

Albatross Runway, Midway from Robert OToole on Vimeo.

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