Two Ways To Fledge

Today, we said goodbye to the Laysan albatross chick featured on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology webcam for the past five months as she took to the air for the very first time. Just after sunrise, Niaulani hopped atop a rock wall, flapped her wings really hard, and stepped off a cliff, taking a leap…

The Many Faces of Laysan Albatross Chicks

You’ve got your Elvis with the long sideburns. You’ve got your classic Bozo. Sometimes, there’s a Mohawk in the crowd. Even a Jarhead. But the goal is a chrome dome, a Telly Savalas. As the longest stretch of time—four months—a Laysan albatross spends on land comes to a close, our chicks are near fledging. Their…

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…