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, January 17, 2011

Happy Hatch Day, Baby Short-tailed Albatross!

photo of male STAL and chick by Pete Leary, 1-17-11
Hau`oli Lā Hānau, baby bird!  See him or her, under the parent?  For the first time, a Short-tailed Albatross (STAL) hatched on Midway Atoll NWR!  The big event happened on Friday, January 14, 2011.

Sing along with the US Marine Corps band as it performs the Happy Birthday song:

Happy hatch day to you!
Happy hatch day to you!
Happy hatch day baby STAL!
Happy hatch day to you!
>>Hana hou (= repeat; sing it again)!

For more information, see:


Anonymous said...

I guess the decoys worked well this time! How many pairs showed up this year?
Thank you for the announcement. This bodes well for a possible recovery of the short-tailed albatross. Thanks for all your efforts.

Karen Matsumoto

Barb said...

Hi Karen,
Yep, the online pictures I've seen show the incubating adult sitting right among the decoys. Perhaps we should be passing around squid-flavored cigars?! I'll try and find out how many pairs of, or an over-all total of individual, STAL showed up on Midway this year, and post the answer as a comment.
aloha, Barb

Barb said...

Thanks to Pete Leary (Wildlife Biologist at Midway Atoll NWR) and Dr. Beth Flint (Wildlife Biologist with USFWS's Pacific Reefs National Wildlife Refuge Complex) for providing the following information--

Pete says, "As far as I know, we've only seen 3 birds this season on the Atoll. The pair on Eastern and the single bird on the south side of the runway [on Sand Island]. Sometimes, there is another STAL that visits the atoll for a total of 4, but I don't know that that bird has shown up this season."

So the young, just-hatched STAL makes it 4 Short-tailed Albatross for this year on Midway. Let's hope he/she makes it!

Beth adds, "Those 3 birds that Pete describes are the only ones of which I am aware this year at Midway so far. There is one 'resident' bird at Laysan [Atoll] and the 2 at Kure [Atoll]."

The 2 on Kure are a pair which also produced an egg, but disappointingly, we've heard it wasn't successful.

Ron Hirschi said...

This is such wonderful news and what a great photo of a magnificent bird! How beautiful and inspiring, especially for me since I was lucky to be standing on that very spot in 2009. At that time, a pair had visited but did not nest. Matt Brown, refuge manager, told a group of us (PAA 2009) that he was sure a pair would return and successfully rear a fledgling. Matt deserves much praise for his tireless work to protect the Short Tails and for what he has done to restore habitat for nesting Laysan Ducks on Eastern Island.

If anyone wants photos of the decoys, the site, Laysan Ducks, or other images of Papahanaumokuakea, I am always happy to share. You can also view images on SOAR, Save our Albatross/Research.

Thank you Barb for sharing this wonderful news with the world!

Ron Hirschi
Project SOAR

Barb said...

Thanks, Ron, for your informative comment; glad the Blogger software finally posted it! And many mahalos for your generous offer to share photos; they are a treasure trove. By the way everybody, Ron's SOAR blog is at this url--