Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hard to Watch

Some days it is difficult to watch what goes on around us. In a large bird colony such as Midway there are always many dead and dieing birds. It is just part of the life processes that take place in a seabird nesting colony. This time of year, with the albatross chicks learning to fly and making the transition to caring for themselves, is particularly stressful for the birds and hard to watch if you have a soft heart for wildlife. The chicks practice hopping and flying and move toward the edges of the island this time of year because of some inborn plan. If they get to an open beach with the wind blowing toward the beach they make their first flight and crash and become waterlogged and drift back to the beach to dry out and try again. If they happen to fly downwind off the island, land on the water and become waterlogged they drown. If they take their first flight off of some man made precipice, land, and become waterlogged they don't have a second chance and drown in large numbers. I've learned not to look in certain corners that collect these waterlogged and drowning birds, but the death continues. I remind myself that these deaths have gone on for untold albatross generations and this year had a record 660,000 albatross nests on Midway.

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