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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Short-tailed Albatross Chick Eating Well

  Sometimes albatross will hānai, or adopt, another bird's egg.  Hhhhhmmmm, maybe the Short-tailed Albatross adults on Midway's Eastern Island had been incubating a Laysan Albatross egg instead of one of their own?  Maybe the chick that hatched from the egg on January 14 is really a Laysan Albatross? 

Careful scientists at the US Fish and Wildlife Service wanted to be sure their young bird was really a STAL.  So, the bird scientists (ornithologists) sent pictures of the baby bird to experts at the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology in Japan.  Result -->; the Japanese experts said, "Hai!  Yes!"...the young chick really does look like a Short-tailed Albatross!  In the video below you'll notice the chick has a very chunky bill, which is a STAL characteristic.  

Also, the baby STAL should grow faster than chicks of other kinds of albatross, like Black-footed Albatross.  The video shows the heads of a pair of BFAL adults in the front...but that's a STAL decoy, or model, on the right.

The STAL chick is almost a month old, and it seems to be doing well.  How would you like your dad to feed you this way?!  Yum!--

video by Pete Leary, Midway Atoll NWR Biologist

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