Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Desolation


A Brown Booby does its best dinosaur impression.

Ah, Midway Atoll. Out of the many, many places I've been on birding trips and field jobs, this is one of the best. Between the birds, the scenery, the isolation, the history and last but not least, the people there, it is hard to beat. Of course, the soft serve machine is sweet too...anyways, two years after my visit now I still have tons of (hella) photos that I like that I haven't been able to throw up on BB&B...so in the spirit of sharing, here you go!


Grey-backed Terns don't get much attention compared to Midways other seabirds, but they're one of my favorites. Classiest birds of the central Pacific!


This Laysan Albatross loved the rain. It looks like it's about to burst into tears...ALBATEARS.


White Terns ponder Liz, and vice versa.


Red-footed Booby. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. 


Rusty Bucket. One of the most scenic places to get Tetanus that I can think of...

Going to Midway is a fantastic, unique experience, particularly if you've never been to any of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands before (which is almost all of you). My first few hours there I can remember vividly as one of the most surreal times of my life (WHAT A NERD). The sheer numbers and cacophony of the Laysan Albatross and Bulwer's Petrels at night is unlike anything I've experienced before or since...just thinking about it brings Albatears of joy to my eyes. ALBATEARS OF JOY. On top of that, I went to a bar in the middle of all this, which is simply ridiculous. Anyways...if you ever have the opportunity to get out there as a volunteer, with a tour, for work or some other capacity, you owe it to yourself to do so. 

Pete Leary, Midway's current biologist with the infamous dry sense of humor, has a great blog that you can see here. Check in to see how things are going with the Short-tailed Albatross chick and other seabirds that survived the tsunami from earlier this winter.


Despite their ruthless reputations, frigatebirds are doting and diligent when it comes to the domestic life. Males spend a lot of time on the nest and can often be seen fussing with various twigs...one has to look good for the neighbors, I guess.

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