During our west coast trip last fall, I went on an all-day pelagic birding trip. That means going out on the ocean to see birds that can’t usually be seen from shore. Shearwater Journeys is the birding company that ran the trip and we went out from Monterey, California. One of the birds we saw was a Black-footed Albatross.
The Black-footed Albatross is one of the smaller species of Albatross. Even so, it is 32 inches long and has a wing span of 70-80 inches. With these long, thin wings, it can glide on the wind for hours at a time without flapping its wings. Most of its time is spent on the open ocean. The only time it is found on land is during nesting season.
At the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge lighthouse on Kauai, there is a nesting colony of Red-footed Boobies. This adult has its feet tucked under its feathers so you can’t see them but they really are bright red. There are several color morphs but the white one is the most common in Hawaii. They are strong fliers and are often found feeding several hundred miles from land. Boobies plunge-dive to catch fish and squid. They can even catch flying fish in the air.