Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 2 of 7

Ka'ena Point is one of the protected nesting grounds for the Laysan Albatross, or Moli, as they are called in Hawaii.  I learned some interesting things about them when we hiked there:

- They can weigh as much as 25 pounds, with a wing span of up to 13 feet!  (Hard to imagine when I first saw them nesting, but easy to see once they took flight!)

- They live 40-60 years and often stay out to sea, never touching land,  for up to five YEARS before returning to the island they were hatched on.  Once they find a mate, they are mated for life, and return to the same island each year just long enough to hatch a single chick before taking to the open ocean air again.

- Their nickname "Goony Bird" originated because they are very awkward on land, and have a hard time taking off and landing.  Nonetheless, they are very graceful in the air.

- An albatross in flight can be so perfectly attuned to wind conditions that it may not flap its wings for hours, or even for days, as it can sleep while flying.

Pretty cool, huh?

6 comments:

  1. Very cool Lisa, such interesting info about the Albatross which has seemed a little mythical to me. I've heard of horses sleeping standing up, but birds sleeping whilst flying! I must admit the migration of birds has always fascinated me, the distances they fly etc. Great post, really enjoyed!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Soaring above the ocean and beach! What a view it must be for that bird!

    Lisa - please take a look at my Brazilian friend's new CDP blog:
    Laranjeiras do Sol daily photo

    ReplyDelete
  3. My only exposure to these birds came from literature: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I like all the information you posted. Great photo, too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow-what a bird--very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never knew about that. They can sleep while flying that's amazing. They're gliding with wind currents. :D

    ReplyDelete