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….

Introducing Albatography

First, let me introduce to you a seabird known as the Laysan albatross. Or mōli, in Hawaiian. This seabird is equipped with magical powers to cause your eyes to widen, your jaw to drop, your opinion of birds to change, and your understanding of an albatross to be anything other than a burden. Albatross will…

On Endangered Species Day: Open Letter to Judge Castagnetti

The Honorable Jeannette Castagnetti First Circuit Court of Hawai‘i Ka‘ahumanu Hale 777 Punchbowl Street Honolulu, HI 96813 Dear Judge Castagnetti: Christian Gutierrez and the two juveniles involved in the massacre of Hawai‘i’s native Laysan albatross deserve to be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. Allow me to explain.

Politics Aside: We Must All Be Mothers of Nature

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead Late last year, at the same time the Presidential election results shook the nation, the majestic Laysan albatross started returning to Kaua‘i. They dropped their spatula-like feet and touched…

Do Animals Have Personality?

My thick, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, defines “personality” as “the quality or state of being a person and not an abstraction, thing, or lower being: the fact of being a individual person: personal existence or entity: capacity for the choices, experiences, and liabilities of an individual person.” There are six varying definitions of…

Independence Day for Kaloakulua

A month ago, when I was in Kalaupapa on Molokai, I spotted some dolphins swimming in the bay outside our kitchen window and called out, “Spinners.” Spinner dolphins are not listed as threatened or endangered by the Endangered Species Act. Because they forage far offshore at night and rest in sandy-bottom, near-shore bays during the…