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, November 14, 2010

Golden Gooney seen on Midway Atoll!

Short-tailed Albatross Gallery; James Lloyd, 2007
I'm no longer on Midway, but my friend Joanna is.  She's one of two volunteers now on the Atoll, and she's experiencing the return of thousands of albatross.  It's getting quite noisy!

Wow; she spotted the very rare Short-tailed Albatross (STAL) on Sand Island!!  The photo to the left shows an adult bird.  With that golden head, you can certainly understand why it's also called the Golden Gooney.

Below is a video of the STAL taken by Joanna.  The caption says the video is mine, but she's the videographer, not me. We're just storing the video on my Vimeo account.

Enjoy Joanna's video!  You'll notice the bird doesn't have the same golden head and neck as shown in the photograph to the left.  That's because the bird that James photographed back in 2007 is an adult, and Joanna's bird is younger, not fully adult yet.  However, it's still a big bird; notice how much bigger it is than the Black-footed Albatross, with which it doesn't seem to get along--

Short-tailed Albatross from Barb Mayer on Vimeo.


Tanya said...

How did the birds fare through the tsunami today, Fri 11th March.

Barb said...

I haven't heard about the birds on Midway yet; as soon as I do hear, I'll put up a FOAM post.

As for Kure Atoll, here's a message that Cynthia Vanderlip posted on the Kure Atoll Conservancy Facebook page:

Aloha all,

We are all fine. We stayed on the roof from 12pm until 4 am (MArch
11). Midway called and said that the wave had passed. Everyone
climbed down off the roof went straight to bed, except me. I took a
quick walk to see the damage at the beach and it is extensive. The
wave washed about 400' feet inland. The Black-foot colony at the pier
is gone, chicks are everywhere. Thousand of ghost crabs are cleaning
up the dead. The wave washed over the top of the pier and tore the
window frames out. The ocean is chocolate brown.

I am thankful that our building is 700' inland and 20' above sea
level. We were spared, but I fear for all the other folks in the
Pacific. The loss of wildlife breaks my heart.

thanks for your thoughts and prayers,