Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You can run, you can hide.....

Bathroom gecko of an unknown species. Any help? Habitat: my razor and toothbrush.

Russians and Pedes aside, the volunteers get worked pretty hard out here. Right now we are handling Red-tailed Tropicbird monitoring, Laysan Duck surveys, marine debris monitoring, Black-footed and Laysan Albatross monitoring, and all the associated data entry/proofing/etc., as well as pitching in with the ongoing war on nonnative plants. Ive done tuckered myself out today, you know what Im sayin? So I'll just post some pictures of the some of the wildlife that I haven't gotten to yet, because they all make up an interesting part of the community here. Most of the wildlife is pretty friendly except for a few of the ducks and shorebirds, so something interesting is going on whenever/wherever you happen to be paying attention.

This is a Great Frigatebird (a frigatebird is the thing tattooed on my leg, for my nonbirder friends), pausing during his display to attract females flying overhead. I wish I had a gigantic inflatable throat pouch, dont you? It would be a great conversational icebreaker I think.

This is one of two Short-tailed Albatrosses/Golden Goonies Ive seen out here. Short-tailed Albatrosses are insane. They are enormous. This one isnt quite an adult yet, but is still facemelting. Notice that it dwarfs its Black-footed Albatross buddy, which is already a massive bird by anyone's standard. This is one of the species you are supposed to stay 150 feet away from to avoid disturbing them (its one of the world's rarest seabirds), but since I was standing right in front of it when I noticed it, I had to take a picture before lurking off. Obvi. Possibly the coolest bird out here.

Hawaiian Monk Seal. Also highly endangered. This one was hauled out on the old WWII seaplane ramp......we see them pretty often.

This is a Bristle-thighed Curlew.....not as rare as the last two, but still less than 7,000 individuals in the world.....they are pretty easy to find here though (I could hear one from my dining room this afternoon). They are possibly the top terrestrial predator here, since they prey on mice (Ive seen it!) and have no other predators. You guys can keep your pumas, wolves and eagles......we've got curlews.

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