Moli (Laysan Albatross)


Moli (Laysan Albatross | Albatros de Layman | Phoebastria immutabilis): My family and I had the good fortune of being given a wonderful tour of Na ‘Āina Kai (“Lands by the Sea”) Botanical Gardens, Sculpture Park and Hardwood Plantation by our very knowledgeable guide Julie. We were especially privileged to witness the “pre-courtship” behaviour of several young adult birds, who certainly knew how to have a good time prancing around! These are simply amazing birds, especially in flight.

Taken on December 30, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 640 | 410mm | f/5.6 | 1/800). Not baited, called in or set up.

On a more somber note, it would seem that only a few hours after I took these photos, a person or group of persons deliberately targeted another colony of these birds on Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve, the westernmost tip of land on the island of Oʻahu. Fifteen nests were destroyed and perhaps as many as 12 birds were either killed or chased away. Although humans seem to reserve the worst behaviour for their fellow humans, this is quite an appalling and senseless act of destruction, especially since it seems to have been so calculated and deliberate.

Further update (February 15, 2016): In the “Good News Department,” the world’s oldest know free flying bird, Wisdom, a Layman Albatross hatched her 40th chick two weeks ago today. She was first tagged by biologists in 1956. The chick, named Kūkini — the Hawaiian word for messenger — was born at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. So I guess there is hope!


6 thoughts on “Moli (Laysan Albatross)

  1. Oh, I love Laysans–how sweet it must have been to watch them dance!

    But such an appalling attack! Esp. for these long-lived, K-selected birds.

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