Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Final Post from Midway

On the eve of my departure from Midway Atoll, I would like to post a few pictures that didnt quite fit into the other posts, but are still worthy in my opinion.

Midway is an amazing place that all of you should visit someday if given the opportunity. That being said, most of you will not be given the opportunity which brings me to my next point. I am lucky and grateful for being here and experiencing this. Although I will be leaving, pictures will continue to make their way onto the BIO technician from midway. I will soon have access to a photo editing program, so look out.

Up until now, all pictures have been raw, straight from the camera, and unedited. A gritty look at life on one of the world's most remote islands.

All is not lost though, as I am slated to be the new caretaker for the Lanphere Dunes unit of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.....details below......

That is still several long plane rides , and several thousand miles away, so I am getting ahead of myself.

A juvy booby.

A "pier party"

Halsey the back yard white tern chick who would pass away only a few days after this picture was taken.

More white terns

A tough looking red-tailed tropic bird chick

Not so tough.

rollin' deep

I think I'm being followed

A herd of laysan ducks

A red-tailed tropic bird pair

Fledgeling Albatross practicing flapping during a rain storm.

My next Assignment......Details Coming Soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Iwa

The Iwa or Great Frigate Bird.

Traditionally seen as a bad omen by ancient seafarers.

An Iwa chick.

This fascinating sequence was captured by Seagull Steve whose blog "Bourbon Bastards and Birds" can be accessed via the link on the right hand side of your screen.

It illustrates how the Great Frigate Bird got its Hawaiian name. Iwa means thief. Great Frigate birds are commonly seen chasing birds like the Red-Tailed Tropic Bird (pictured here), or the various Booby species in an effort to get them to throw up their last catch, which the GRFRs will promptly steal.

This C-130 was stranded on Midway recently.

The reason was a collision with an Iwa that resulted in a basket ball sized hole that can be see to the left of the propeller just above the feul tank.

This Red-Footed Booby doesn't know Iwa means thief.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I've had my hands full

A Gooney egg. Gooney is a coloquial name for the albatross. Why they went with Albatross instead of Gooney I dont know. You may thing Albatross sounds more dignified, than why Booby instead of Gannet? This egg was layed several months ago, and must be handled carefully as its contents have been stewing in the sun and are under tremendous preassure.

A white tern that had gotten itself stuck in an invasive species of algae that thives in some of the duck ponds. Moments after this picture was taken, the tern was seen flying away after preening its feathers and drying off a bit.

This male Laysan Duck is sick. It is infected with the botulism toxin. This particular duck was the first one I treated personnaly, injections, tube feeding, and all. Four days later he was released with a clean bill of health.

A live .50 cal round from WWII.

A brown noddy chick. These have been popping up all over the island recently. More on that later.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Three different varietals of the Midway Fly Trap.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Deploying the Device

Today we deployed satellite transmitters on 2 fledgling Laysan Albatross. These 30 gram units allow researchers to track the position of the birds in almost real time as they transit to feeding areas across the Pacific. This allows conflicts with fishermen and plastic marine debris to be more well understood.

After capture, the chicks are weighed in an old road cone. Low tech, but functional. This particular cone was actually a piece of marine debris that washed up on the beach a few years back.

Next, they recieve a band.

Feather samples were taken from each chick for DNA analysis. The birds are strong, and require a team of technicians and biologists to control them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Takin' it Easy

Unlike these Laysan Ducks and the Bristle-Thighed Curlew who are obviously on their way to go do something important, I have the day off.

This gives me time to stop and smell the Roses, or in this case, Morning Glories. These are native to the N.W. Hawaiian Islands, and carpet the beaches.