It's been a busy week once again with the usual things going on. The seals are having pups and keeping the seal crew hopping. The volunteers are still busy banding the 3000 or so albatross chicks, and we helped the turtle crew take down their camp on East Island, since they have to get all their gear cleaned and stowed by the time they leave (Wed. or Thur.). The shark guys have been taking a bit of time off because it's been pretty windy and choppy out in the atoll, and no one wants to fall in when they are tagging a 14 ½ ft tiger shark on their little 17 ft boat.
It's Dave's final week on the island too. He took a job at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge so that will leave me in charge out here. It will probably take a while to get all the paperwork done to actually make me the manager, and it will take even longer to get another assistant manager out here. I hope a new asst. mgr can get out here faster than I did.
The maintenance volunteer, Jim, will be leaving on the Sette with Dave and the turtle crew, so there will be 4 fewer mouths to feed until the construction guys get out here this fall.Here are some Achilles Tangs for a bit of color. This is one of the Christmas shearwaters that we are monitoring. Here is the shark crew hoisting their boat onto their trailer. We don't use the boat ramp because it's too rough usually and the boat gets beat around too much. The hoist is easier. The young great frigatebirds are catching and eating small sooty tern chicks all the time. There are tens of thousands of chicks still around, but we still don't like to see them get eaten. The sharks are getting a lot of the black-footed albatross chicks too.Here's a sooty tern chick hiding under the Chenopodium. Of all the bird chicks on the island, the sooty and grayback tern chicks are the only ones that are scared of people. They are really the only ones that have predators here though. The frigatebirds leave the other chicks alone.