Pixel Postcard: Laysan Albatross

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Pixel Postcard: Laysan Albatross

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai
Jan 10, 2014

laysan albatross incubating an egg on kauai

This week in Hawaii, we’re enjoying cooling winds out of the north. By cool, I mean the low for tonight where I live is expected to be 64 degrees. That means I might be able to convince my husband to turn the ceiling fan down from high to medium. I know temperatures around the U.S. Mainland are frightfully cold, as in freezing, right now, and I’m so very sorry for those people who are truly cold.
 
Also, this week in Hawaii, these birds—Laysan albatrosses—are still incubating their rather large—avocado-sized—eggs. The interesting thing about incubating eggs in the tropics isn't so much keeping them warm but keeping them from getting too warm and baking. In a few weeks, we might start seeing some pipping going on. The downy-wet chicks growing inside the calcium enclosures like you see here are growing an “egg tooth,” perhaps right this very minute, on the very tip of their bill. This egg tooth will help them break out of their egg, a process that can take up to a couple days. I love the pipping part of Laysan albatross breeding season. 
 
Stay warm, friends.
 
Aloha,
Kim

P.S. I'll be spending the weekend in a writing retreat with the man who wrote the book on Laysan albatrosses--Carl Safina. I am one fortunate girl.

Responses:

Mary | Jan 14, 2014 02:09 PM

What a gorgeous creature.

Tommye | Jan 14, 2014 04:56 PM

I have always loved birds and these Albatrosses look big and tame. Are they? Can I see them anywhere in HI? If I come....no when I come to see them will I need a special guide or can I just see them on a nature walk? the idea of Seeing these birds up close and personal is just enough to get me all the way to HI!!!!

P. Kesling-Wood | Jan 14, 2014 07:57 PM

Love these birds. Spent time on Midway banding and was stunned. Please write something about Carl Safina- very interesting!

Ron | Jan 15, 2014 07:10 AM

Carl Safina ... interesting ... I'll check out his facebook page.

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