The albatrosses started hatching earlier this month. The process of pecking at their calcium enclosure and emerging into this world is called “pipping.” To date, we have 89 nests and 48 chicks at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
You can’t tell from the picture above, but check out the bill on this hatchling in the picture below. Proportionately speaking, that’s one big beak, don’t you think? Imagine how much effort it would take to haul that thing around. Albatross chicks must grow into their bills like children grow into their ears.
Earlier this week, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge honored its volunteers with an annual appreciation banquet at the Hukilau Lanai restaurant in Kapa’a, where Marilou Knight was recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” for her many hours of volunteer efforts on behalf of the albatrosses (not to mention the other seabirds at the refuge). Marilou traipses through mud, muck and forest to check on these cute youngsters and provide population data on them–important work, especially since last summer our biologist relocated to a refuge on the mainland. Marilou received an award and applause and all kinds of other kudos, and now this post goes out to Marilou as my personal thank you for a job well done. Mahalo Marilou.