Wisdom with her recent offspring. Photo by USFWS
Midway Atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean is one of the most critical nesting spots for seabirds in the world. At least 70% of the world's Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) make their home on the small islands of Midway. Along with the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), there are another 30 bird species found on Midway.
Among the most famous seabirds to call this low-lying set of islands home is a Laysan Albatross named Wisdom. She is the oldest known banded wild bird in the world. At 69 years old, Wisdom returns most years to Midway to renew her nest and hatch a chick - as she did again in December of 2019.
At least 1.5 million seabirds nest on Midway Atoll. Unfortunately for these seabirds, the island is on the receiving end of a substantial amount of marine debris in the form of plastics swirling in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The harm to seabirds, especially to young Albatross chicks is an ever concerning problem.
Friends of Midway Atoll: https://www.friendsofmidway.org/
Why is Wisdom the Laysan Albatross important? (video)
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
The Amazing Albatross!: http://blog.bird-rescue.org/index.php/2018/03/the-amazing-albatross/
Films worth watching
Midway, a plastic island (CNN report): https://youtu.be/lsJqMmuFWO4