Albatrosslandia, Part 1

We returned from Guadalupe Island, Mexico, two weeks ago. The trip was amazing in many aspects. Among all things albatross: we recovered and deployed geolocation tags, collected samples (blood, feather, diet), set up colony monitoring, and checked for cat predation (finding none, thank goodness). That's me, holding a Laysan albatross.Bill holding an albatross

Among the coolest things was documenting albatross immigration from the Hawaiian islands to Guadalupe. We found Hawaiian born Laysan albatrosses breeding on Guadalupe (yup Mexico is stealing Hawaiian birds).

Not only that but we documented a juvenile Laysan albatross, KP053, banded on Kauai last year that was courting with a couple other birds on Guadalupe, Mexico. Then, get this, 17 days later it was back chilling at the Kauai colony!

Below is an aerial view of Guadalupe Island. It's a dot off the coast of Baja, California.(Ed note - According to Bird Life International, shrubbery once covered the island but now much of that is gone, due to several factors, including farm life -- in the early 1970s, the island removed 35,000 goats. Also, out of six of the island's endemic land birds, three are now extinct -- the Northern Flicker, the Bewicks Wren and the Rofous-sided Towhee.

Guadalupe