The short-tailed albatross pair at Midway Atoll have produced the first chick of their species born outside Japan territory in recorded history.
The event is considered monumental by biologists, as the species, whose head and neck color gives them the nickname "golden gooney," is seriously endangered. More on the birds at our previous posts here and here.
The new chick was well protected by its parents from the recent rainstorms and wind, and appeared to be thriving, Fish and Wildlife Service biologists said.
Humans are being kept away from the area. The images were taken using long lenses and by two service biologists operating from cover, so the birds would not be bothered.
In each of these images the chick's head and beak are barely visible between or next to the parent's leg. The body is obscured within the shallow depression that forms the nest.
More images are available at:
The sex of the baby golden is not yet known. Those other birds in the images are mainly Laysan albatrosses. Laysan and black-footed albatrosses are the dominant members of their genus in the Hawaiian Island chain.
© Jan TenBruggencate 2011