Tern Island: Visions of Spinach Fairies Dancing in Our Heads

Melinda Conners at Tern Island, Hawaii--We finished off our last fresh fruits and vegetables a month ago.  We've since been relying on canned and frozen vegetables to supplement our cooking efforts.  Sometimes we have to be creative:  edamole (made from green edamame beans) instead of guacamole; frozen cauliflower instead of brussel sprouts, canned water chestnuts instead of onions.  Frozen broccoli has become our ubiquitous vegetable side dish.  What's for dinner?  Enchiladas with a side of broccoli, sesame chicken with a side of broccoli, falafel sandwiches

The Busy Season

Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab--Accountants have tax season, teachers... back to school, malls have the holidays: TOPP biologists are busy now...when many species are ready for tags, all at once! TOPP biologists are busy deploying satellite tags on five species....and that's just today!

Chicks and More Chicks

Melinda Conners, on Tern Island, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge - The albatross chicks are growing like weeds!  The adults are leaving the chicks unattended for days on end while they endlessly forage throughout the North Pacific Ocean to provide their rapidly growing chick with high-calorie chick-meals. 

Meet Prius, the Hybrid Albatross

Melinda Conners, on Tern Island, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge -- This unique bird is the product of a union between a Laysan albatross and a black-footed albatross. Both of these species breed on Tern Island.

Breeding Season in Albatross Land

Scott Shaffer, UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA -- There's excitment in the air, hormones are raging, lots of singing and dancing, and well..... albatrosses are doing what comes naturally at this time of year. They're breeding.

Lanting's Albatross Shows

Jane Stevens, at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab - On Saturday, Feb. 2, photographer Frans Lanting presents "Albatrosses: Birds of Legend in Times of Trouble" in two shows -- one at 2 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. -- at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Shaffer at Camp Ocean Pines

Jane Stevens at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA - Meet albatross researcher Scott Shaffer at Camp Ocean Pines this weekend! Get up close and personal with this guy, who's traveled to some of the most remote islands on the globe to study sea birds and mammals, take a look at his photos and hear his stories about putting satellite tags on albatross and red-footed boobies in the middle of storms and high winds. He'll bring some amazing things for show-and-tell -- the wing of an albatross, the skull and bill, a chick bolus.

Albatrosses on "Wild Chronicles"

National Geographic's "Wild Chronicles" is airing Christine Eckstrom's video of albatrosses on PBS stations beginning Saturday, Dec. 15. Check your local listings. The story features photographer Frans Lanting and writer Carl Safina with TOPP researcher Scott Shaffer on Midway Atoll.

Chick in a Bucket

Michelle Kappes, at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab. As part of my PhD project at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I’m looking to see how efficient Hawaiian albatross parents are at feeding their chicks. We estimate how much energy Laysan and black-footed albatross adults use up during a trip to sea to find food. And then we measure how much food energy they deliver to their chicks when they return from sea. That’s where the bucket comes in. (Here's the photo that Frans Lanting took of me holding the chick in a basket.

Fledglings on the Move

Scott Shaffer, at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab. Only two out of the nine satellite-tagged fledgling albatrosses that took to the air for the first time in July are still sending back signals. A Laysan and a black-footed albatross are still transmitting their positions as they soar across the wide Pacific Ocean. But, along with another black-footed albatross who stopped reporting about 10 days ago, these birds sent back locations for 117-119 days. That's our new record!!

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