Laysan Albatross Chicks: What’s In a Bolus?

On World Oceans Day earlier this week, I surveyed a colony of Laysan albatross chicks, mere weeks away from fledging. It was a clear day with bluebird blue skies and the slightest whisper of wind disrupting the lazy leaves of ironwood trees. But the chicks didn’t let the lack of air movement deter them. Many…

Celebrate Oceans. Refuse Plastic.

Beach finds last week: Plastic toothbrush; plastic baby powder bottle; plastic hagfish (eel) trap; plastic coat hanger; and a sundry of unidentifiable bits and chunks of plastic in a rainbow of colors—none of it left behind by beach-goers but based on its snagged and worn condition, arrived by water. I imagine a fisherman up early,…

Endangered Species Have the Coolest Tongues

Albatross have pointy tongues. Humpback whales have tongues that are the size of Volkswagen bugs. The tips of Hawaiian monk seals’ tongues are bifurcated, a fancy word for split. Pretty cool, huh. And that’s just tongues. Wait until we get to the throats. Today is recognized as Endangered Species Day. The goal of the day…

Report from Ranger Rogers: Speaking of Scat.

Wedge-tailed shearwater are back at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. I can tell by the white splotches on the sidewalk leading from the fee booth, alongside the bookstore, and up the slight hill to where the first view of the lighthouse comes into focus. Where nene scat resembles a cat’s leavings and is easily scooped;…

Report from Ranger Rogers: St. Pat and Scat

St. Patrick must have been a friendly guy. I suppose all the raucous celebration of him is testament to that. Because his day—Tuesday, March 17th—seemed to put everybody in a good mood at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge last week. As if the place itself (gorgeous) and the wildlife (cool) living there isn’t enough to…

#1000Speak: Compassion in Laysan Albatross.

We’ve had unusual winds blowing around Kauai the past couple weeks. First, they blew from various points out of the west, swinging around from the northwest and north-northwest to the southwest and south-southwest. It were as if a kid had grabbed the garden hose of wind and was swinging it over her head in great loops….