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.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Escape from the Jaws of a Tiger

On the boat ride over to Eastern Island today we saw a Tiger Shark attacking a fledgling Laysan Albatross. The Albatross bit the shark in the nose........and lived.

A welcoming committee waited for us on the pier.

Thousands of these Japanese Emerald Beatles were swarming around everywhere.

We were there to do some restoration work on the wetlands. The Laysan Ducks were interested in all the activity.

Very interested.

The Terns were out in full force.

This thing is a firing position from the 2nd World War. It is made out of the top of a tank from the 1st World War. When the Japanese fleet was bearing down on Midway, some 18 year old soldier would have been inside there aiming his machine gun at the beach and waiting to die. Lucky for him, the Battle of Midway actually took place in the open ocean several miles from the Atoll Itself.

Another relic of the War.

This Brown Noddy chick supervised the whole thing from the stump of an old Ironwood Tree.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The People's Atoll: Vol 2 "Death From Above"

These two F-18 Hornets made an emergency landing on Midway today. Evidently one has a broken engine. If you have ever seen a movie about fighter jets, you know that you never abandon your wing-man.

Scary, kind of like the Marines that came out of the cockpit.

They are armed and ready to go make some freedom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chicks Man.

A ruthless, and feared predator......If you're a small fish

Yeah, that never really gets old.

Ah.......cute a pterodactyl sort of way.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrity Albatross: Part II






Friday, July 3, 2009

The Peoples Atoll Vol: 1

This will be the first in a ten part series that explores Midway Atoll from the people's perspective. In other words I will try to show the parts of Midway that are here strictly for the Human residents.

This is my "street". It is the only street in my "neighborhood". Other residents include the Atoll's Biologist, Mechanic, and 2 seasonal technicians. Bio technicians as a matter of fact. The path is barely wide enough for a golf cart, but even this requires constant stops to move birds out of the way. Bikes work best. It is not unusual to wake up in the morning and find out a neighbor from further down the lane, returning home late, decided to park a cart in your front yard rather that contend with dozens of angry snapping Albartoss chicks. Been there, done that. The chicks are getting old enough to cause damage with their beaks. Most all of the vegetation seen here, while wildly exotic, fragrant and pretty is not native and takes up valuable nesting habitat for the Albatross. My favorite is the fluffy pink thing that has been flowering non-stop since I got here.