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HOPE FOR NEW COLONY SOARS AS FIVE ALBATROSS CHICKS HATCH AT KAHUKU POINT

Posted on Fri, 2019/03/08 - 2:48pm by Laura Purdy

It’s an exciting new chapter at Turtle Bay – five new Laysan albatross chicks have hatched at Kahuku Point, marking an important milestone after adult albatrosses have attempted to nest in the area for half a decade. 

 These chicks signal hope for the long-term establishment of a new colony of these near-threatened status species. 

We owe this monumental success to the hard work of our friends and partners at the North Shore Community Land Trust who, with the help of thousands of volunteers, have been restoring Kahuku Point since 2015.

In addition to removing invasive species and stabilizing the dunes, community volunteers have also been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Islands Coastal Program, Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response and Turtle Bay Resort to create safer environments for nesting birds and their eggs by using humane traps to control predators, primarily mongooses.

Visitors to the area are asked to provide additional protection by keeping their distance and making sure their dogs are on a leash.

Laysan albatrosses, called moli in Hawaiian, have attempted to nest in the area for the past five years without success. Albatross chicks imprint on their home at one month old and usually return to the same area to lay their eggs. The hope for the Kahuku Point restoration partners is that the fledglings will eventually start a new colony here on the North Shore.

The two baby chicks are expected to fledge in approximately five and a half months. They will head to the North Pacific and as far as the Bering Sea, where they will spend the next three to five years foraging for food and learning to soar. Volunteers are currently monitoring four other Laysan albatross nests nearby, hopeful to see more hatchlings within the next week.