George and Geraldine, the lone Short-tailed Albatross pair on Midway Atoll, have a new chick

George and Geraldine 26 December 2023 Nick Minnich Short-tailed Albatrosses George (left) and Geraldine brood their latest chick on Midway Atoll, 26 December 2023, photograph by Nick Minnich

The lone Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus pair well known as George and Geraldine on the USA’s Midway Atoll, North-Western Hawaiian Islands are currently caring for their latest chick in their sixth breeding attempt since 2018/19.  The chick is believed to have hatched on 24 December 2023.  “Jon Plissner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently studying footage captured by the field camera … to determine the exact date and time of hatching.”  The 2023/2024 chick is the fifth to be hatched by George and Geraldine.  So far, they have fledged four chicks.  No chick was produced in the 2021/22 breeding season as the egg did not hatch.  Read more here.

George with eggshell December 2023 Jon Plissner USFWSA flattened eggshell, indicative of a hatched egg, can be discerned just outside the nest and in front of George, 26 December 2023, photograph by Jon Plissner/USFWS

Geraldine fourth chick Jan 2024 Nick MinnichGeraldine feeds her two-week old chick, her fourth, c. 10 January 2024, photograph by Nick Minnich

Regular sightings of a young colour-banded Short-tailed Albatross (Red AA08) near its parental nest that it fledged from in 2019 continue to be made.  This is George and Geraldine’s first fledgling, one of two seen back on Midway.  Another Short-tailed Albatross has been recorded this season near the forest’s edge on the north-east side of Midway’s Sand Island.

Wisdom 25 Dec 2023 Nick MinnichWisdom (Red Z333, left) with an unbanded male on Midway Atoll, 25 December 2023, photograph by Nick Minnich

Meanwhile Wisdom, the 70-something and oldest-known Laysan Albatross P. immutabilis, was again spotted on 24 and 25 December displaying with an unbanded male. It was first recorded this breeding season on  03 December last year (click here).

News from the Friends of Midway Atoll where you can watch a video of Wisdom interacting with the unbanded bird.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 16 January 2023

The Agreement on the
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ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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