We now have 2 fewer people on island. Jon, Austin, and Mike (shark catchers) left to catch the plane at Midway next week. Derek and Monica (monk seal biologists) also left to go to Laysan to do some seal work there for a week or so. We got 3 new visitors too. Charles, Bob, and Tenaya are here to also work with monk seals. They are going to relocate 6 weaned pups to Nihoa, where pups have a higher survival rate than French Frigate Shoals. A pup just got bit by a shark this week, the morning after it's mother left. This one had one of it's rear flippers bitten off, so it probably won't make it since even the perfectly healthy ones have a tough time. We were bummed that it was a pretty healthy female, since the population needs females more than males at this point. I hope the seals do well on Nihoa. They'll be satellite tagged so that NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) can keep track of them for a little while at least.
Therese and Whitney are banding a Christmas shearwater chick. These are some of the best mannered birds on the island. They don't try to bite while they are being banded.
This Laysan albatross chick was just watching the waves smash the seawall a few inches in front of it. There are only a couple dozen left on the island now. All of the black-footed albatross are gone.
One more baby turtle picture for you. I sat by a nest a couple nights ago and waited for them to hatch out. I only had to sit there about 45 minutes until they decided it was time.