Birds of Midway Atoll
Twenty-one species of seabirds are commonly seen at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, of which 19 species nest each year on the islands. The largest albatross colony in the world is on Midway Atoll with an estimated 1.5 million birds. The total population of nesting seabirds is nearly 2 million. For a more in-depth look at Midway's bird fauna, please click on one of the items listed below:
Natural History of Midway's Birds:
As part of an effort to ensure recovery of the Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis ), 42 wild ducks were translocated from Laysan to Midway Atoll in 2004 and 2005. The Midway population has grown steadily.
Midway features the world's largest colony of Laysan Albatross (452,609 nesting pairs) and the largest colonies of Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Black Noddies and White Terns within the Hawaiian archipelago. The various seabird species that do nest at Midway divide the limited habitat by selecting different sites to lay their eggs, such as burrows under the ground, surface sites in the open or under the vegetation and perches within shrubs or taller trees. Midway's native (or indigenous) bird fauna also includes a small variety of arctic nesting shorebirds, such as Bristle-thighed Curlews and Ruddy Turnstones, and a long list of vagrant species that have been observed in small numbers over the years.