The Red-tailed Tropicbird is a seabird that nests across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the rarest of the tropicbirds, yet is
still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened.
When breeding the Red-tailed Tropicbird mainly choose coral atolls with low shrubs, nesting underneath them . They feed
offshore away from land, singly rather than in flocks. They are plunge-divers that feed on fish, mostly flying fish, and squid.
|Red-tailed Tropic Birds, Short-tailed Albatross, Laysan Ducks, Common
Canary, Common Myna and Bonin Petrel
The Short-tailed Albatross is the rarest albatross in the world. Once common, it was brought to the edge of extinction by the
trade in feathers, but with protection has recently made a recovery. Short-tailed Albatrosses now nest on only two islands, with
the majority of birds nesting on Torishima, and the remainder nesting on Minami-kojima in the Senkaku Islands. The Fish and
Wildlife is trying to get the Short-tailed Albatross to use Midway, but so far with very little success. We were fortunate during
our stay to see one juvenile when we visited Eastern Island. The Short-tailed Albatross is much larger than the Laysan
Albaross surrounding him.
The Laysan Duck is the rarest duck in the world numbering less than 600 world wide. The decline of the Laysan Duck began
1000-1600 years ago, with the colonization of the Hawaiian Islands by Polynesians and associated non-native mammalian
predators. By 1860, the ducks disappeared from all but Laysan Island (the duck’s namesake), most likely due to predation by
introduced rats. Today Fish and Wildlife is involved in restoring the Laysan Ducks to the Midway Atoll.
The canary is one of two birds not native to Midway. It was introduced to the Atoll approximately 80 years ago. It does not
appear to be a threat to the native wildlife.
The Common Myna was also introduced by humans and is considered something of a threat to other birds. Fish and Wildlife is
determining what to do about this bird.
When walking around the island, we were strictly instructed to stay on paths and pavement. This is because the Bonin Petrel
makes its nest in the sand and the nests cave in if humans walk over them trapping the bird and its egg in the sand.
The Bonin Petrel was only visible at night. At dusk they filled the sky. At night they could be seen all over the ground near their
nest holes. So, the picture below was taken with a flash.