Showing posts tagged as "albatross"
"My wife went on a four-month trip and left me with binoculars and a bird book. That’s how it all started. When you work with birds, you have to slow down. You have to think about everything—where you put your hands, what cues you give off. They’re so tuned in to body language.”
—Eric Miller, aviculturist
Birds of a Feather
Fantastic news about a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, who lives on Midway Atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument.
Wisdom is officially the oldest living marine bird, at least 62 years of age and first banded by wildlife officials in 1956. She survived the tsunami in 2010 that devastated Midway. And now (drumroll, please!) she is caring for what is at least the 30th chick she’s hatched and reared in her long, productive life.
There’s a slim possibility that she’s related to our own Laysan albatross, Makana (pictured above). Like Wisdom, Makana comes from Midway Atoll. She came to the Aquarium in 2006 after she injured her wing when she fledged. She’s been an incredible ambassador for her species and is — as far as we know — the only albatross at any aquarium or zoo in the world.
In daily public programs at the Kelp Forest exhibit, we introduce visitors to Makana. There, we share stories about the epic annual migrations Laysan albatross make (50,000 miles!) and about the threats they face in the wild — from plastic pollution and commercial fishing gear.
Globally 18 of the 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction. Makana and Wisdom — each in their own way — are contributing to the survival and recovery of these remarkable birds.
We wish them long and healthy lives!
This Bird Has Happy Feet
Say what? To help inspect the underside of birds’ feet, our clever staff built a “mirror” box, then trained our Laysan albatross Makana, to walk over it. For Makana, it’s a fun game; for our staff, it’s a great way to keep our birds healthy!
Thanks to Julia Mariottini (shown), Monika Rohrer, Anne Burnett and everyone else involved in this great project! Photos by Randy Wilder.
Have you met Makana, our beautiful Laysan albatross? You can! Check out this great video and blog from the Humane Society during a recent visit.
Starting June 8, the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel presents “False Food,” a photo exhibition by Jerry Takigawa featuring plastic artifacts from the Pacific Gyre and the remains of albatross on Midway Island. Jerry’s work has been featured at the Aquarium, and on June 22 at 7 pm he will introduce our climate change specialist Sarah-Mae Nelson, who shares ways to reduce plastic from our lives and help heal the oceans.
Our Laysan albatross, Makana, gets a unique enrichment: a trip through the Aquarium offices! Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit—including Makana.