A New Addition to the Albatross Family

The house we’re staying at happens to be the nesting site of an albatross family, and a new baby albatross has arrived. It’s about one month old and very cute.

The Laysan albatross (local name: moli — a moli is also the needle that was traditionally made from the birds’ sharp wing bones and used to create intricate designs) spends much of its life at sea, only coming to shore to nest. Moli couples mate for life, taking turns incubating the lone chicks they raise each year.

Most Laysan albatross make their homes on a tiny, low-lying ring of coral reef (Midway Atoll) more than a thousand miles from Kauai, but that home faces rapidly rising sea levels and will eventually be uninhabitable.

Albatrosses are protected here, so no one is allowed to disturb them; scientists actually stop by regularly to take measurements and such.

But the albatrosses don’t seem to mind you coming up quite close to take photos! I guess if you know you’re going to grow up to have a wingspan of 9.5 – 11 ft., you’re probably not so nervous around puny humans…

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