The pair of Short-tailed Albatrosses Phoebastria albatrus that have been breeding on East Island, part of the USA's Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North West Hawaiian Islands, for the second year in succession have now successfully fledged their second chick. The banded breeding pair consists of a nine-year-old female and a 25-year-old male that originally came from Japan's Torishima Island. This is only the second-known successful breeding by the Short-tailed Albatross away from islands belonging to Japan.
The fledgling was last observed and photographed on 10 June exercising its wings near its nest site and taking a short test flight. It had been previously metal- and colour-banded by refuge biologists Pete Leary and Greg Schubert on 30 May.
Pete Leary attaches a red colour band to the chick's left leg on 30 May
The fledgling resting on the shore on 10 June. The metal band can be seen on the right leg
Wing flapping shortly before fledging, 10 June 2012
Photographs courtesy of John Klavitter/USFWS
Read more in the official press release and watch two short videos taken by Midway's Assistant Refuge Manager John Klavitter of the fledgling exercising its wings on the shore and then flying and landing in the lagoon.
You can access earlier news items about Short-tails on Midway by using the search function on this web site.
With thanks to Judy Jacobs and Lindsay Young for information and to John Klavitter/USFWS for use of photographs.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 June 2012