12 April 2010
10 April 2010
Okay, so picking up marine debris isn't the most fun, but it's worth it to spend some time on the water and on some beautiful patches of sand. And of course seeing some whales on the way and jumping into the water to snorkel off pristine coral reefs with some manta rays isn't bad either. Until the assistant managers yells out, "Time to swim back to the boats NOW!" Hello shark.
07 April 2010
31 March 2010
Frigatebirds have been getting busy, shaking their jazz hands, puffing out their irridescent feathers, and smothering lucky pink-eye-liner wearing ladies with their bulbous red gular pouches. The result: eggs have been popping out left and right! The only down side to this event is territorial males that relentlessly whack me on the head. The upside is that there will be a whole new lineage of juvenile frigates to play grab-the-stick with!
Albatrosses that have succesfully bred have starting leaving their chicks unattended to forage at sea, bringing back a slurry of oily goop to pour down their hungry babes little gullets. As a result the chicks have morphed into the shape of heavy bottomed bowling pins, except much squishier. These little bundles of fluff are pretty fiesty in a pathetic immobile sort of way and if you hand some a twig or feather they will grab it and promptly place it in their nest bowl (with attitude) and wait for the next handout (or for you to leave them alone). I've definitely fallen in love with the curious dopey nature of the Laysan albatrosses... if you hang out too long near a group of loafing adults they just might come check you out, tug on a loose peice of clothing, dance with you, or offer to fix your wind blown hair. I experienced my first albatross preening under the barracks while banding tropicbirds. Shortly after, a second albatross walked up and offered to carry my sunglasses for me. How nice.
30 March 2010
In December I did have just enough time to rescue a slippery sea turtle from our seawall, band some porky Black-footed Albatrosses, and band a fiesty little Bonin Petrel. Banding birds is kind of like crack for me (not that I've ever tried it, but I can imagine based on movies I've seen), so during my time back on the mainland I suffered from severe withdraws and nearly drowned in a large pool of self-pity.
I've been back now for almost 10 days and my veins are surging with tropical-birdie-island-goodness. I'll have to wait for another moment of free time to fill you in on the latest points of excitement (accompanied by choice photos if the interwebs will allow), because I've got to go get my fanny-pack ready for a night of Wedge-tailed Shearwater mark-recapture. And I've got to find my headlamp!