Writing in the time of COVID-19: Day Nineteen

Last week, a friend on a walk along a coastline saw a bird and texted me: Friend: Do shearwaters have a super big wing span? White underneath? Dark brown? Me: About three-foot wingspan. And they nest along the coastline. Friend: I’m watching these huge brown birds fish! I think bigger than 3 feet! Diving and…

Writing in the time of COVID-19: Day Two

I’m baking. Well, trying to bake. The first batch of flour had mites. Apparently, that’s a common problem for dry goods in warm, humid places, especially deep in the back of my pantry. The second package of flour appeared mite-free. At least, baking them, if there are any, will kill the little buggahs. All it…

Awaiting Albatross

It’s late October. That means leaves are turning the colors of jewels and carpeting the ground beneath trees in places on the continental United States. In Hawaii, the temperature needle hovers around 70 degrees at night, a cool breeze seeps in from the north, and we pull up the sheet to sleep. This is fall….

Outnumbered by an Albatross

The albatross colonies around Hawaii are quiet these days, almost eerily so, while the birds forage in the North Pacific. However, an albatross made an appearance, of sorts, last week in the pages of an online magazine called Zoomorphic. Thanks to the editors of Zoomorphic for the opportunity to write (again) about Laysan albatross. Here’s…

Meet Hawaii’s Avian Climate Refugees

[Are you following me at Albatography.com? If not, you’ve missed some blog posts. Here’s my latest.] Among the hundreds of thousands of Laysan albatross that nest at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge also nests another albatross species—the Black-footed albatross—but in much fewer numbers. The Black-footed albatross is listed as near threatened by the IUCN Red List….

Live! Albatross Chicks on Camera!

[Are you following me at Albatography.com? If not, you’ve missed some blog posts. Here’s my latest.] Hatching is not easy. From the outside, it looks as if nothing is happening. Inside, a busy factory is at work making a baby albatross chick. What starts as a gooey mess transforms into bones and soft downy feathers….