Sunday, January 18, 2009

Albatrosses are Hatching

Another busy week on Tern Island, of course it always is. The black-footed albatross chicks started hatching last Monday, which was a little earlier than expected. There aren't too many yet and the weather has been cool (high 60's, low 70's) and windy, so the parents aren't getting up to let us see exactly how many are hatching. The Laysan albatrosses are starting to poke holes in their eggs (pip), but aren't out yet.

The plane to Midway flew over today, so I got to chat with a couple of people on their way to Midway, like Matt (Midway Manager), Susan (Monument Supervisor), and Robyn (Regional Director). I don't know why, but for some reason that's more fun than chatting on the phone, even though it's hard to hear and we don't say much. We can't see the plane from down here because it's too small and high, but they can see us. I posted a picture of Tern from that plane on my Midway blog back in Sept. '07.

We ran out of fresh vegetables a few weeks ago, but we're expecting a plane this week with supplies and mail. The next plane after that is a month from now, so we should be able to almost make it until then.

This chick is right by the front door, so it will be easy to keep an eye on. The parent is shading it from the direct sun and talking to it so the chick knows it's voice when it comes back to feed it (I may anthropomorphize a little, but it's better than using technical terms).

We've had to rescue a couple of green sea turtles from behind the seawall this week. I found this turtle today in a pool and had to catch it and put it back out over the seawall. I had my underwater camera so I snapped a picture of it in the pool before I caught it. It was about 14" across. You can see a picture of where they get stuck on the Dec. 14 post.

The red-tailed tropicbirds are coming back. Last month we'd only see one here or there, but now there are about 100 flying around squawking in the afternoons.

A couple of endangered monk seals are sleeping on the beach while a Laysan albatross flies over.

There are a whole lot of these little black noddy chicks around now. This one is a neighbor in the same bush as the one from last week.

I haven't shown you many pictures of the facilities around here, so since I talked about getting food on the plane, I'll show you our food storage room. You can see we aren't in any danger of starving, even without this plane.


Anonymous said...


Took some time today to review your posts. Glad to read you are doing well. Your pictures are beautiful and I look forward to more. All the best!

Aaron Eakman

Pete Leary said...

Thanks Aaron, nice to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

very cool shot of the turtle. i never thought to do that. doh! had my last chance this morning probably. -kb