Young Laysan albatross (00006339)

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Laysan albatross/Diomedea immutabilisYoung Laysan albatrossWorldwide there are 14 species of albatrosses of which only three occur on the Midway Atoll. Here is the world's largest breeding colony of Laysan and the second largest of the black-footed albatrosses. 400 000 Laysan and 18 000 black foot albatross pairs are on the Islands. Albatross parents fly far out to sea to find food for the chicks. In July the young are fledged and practicing diligently taking off and landing. They must be very careful not to land on a flight test in the water. If they fail to start immediately in such a case, their feathers will soak with water and the risk of drowning is great. The first launch attempt of the sea should necessarily be successful but also for another reason: precisely this season, tiger sharks gather in the "strategically place" and are just waiting for an albatross that must land on the water. If the start but successful, they glide across the sea for several years to return to breed to Midway later.