Gooney Birds on Midway Atoll

Just like you'd guess from its name, Midway Atoll is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, half way between the US mainland and Japan. That geography made it a strategic outpost during the second world war.

Laysan albatross adult

The atoll's best known inhabitant would have to be the gooney bird.

Over three-quarters of a million laysan albatross or gooneys nest at midway every year, that's seventy one percent of the world's population.

Laysan albatross chick

From July to October, most birds are out at sea, feeding at night on fish and squid. They come ashore for the breeding season. The chicks hatch around January to February, and spend the next six months practising their take-offs and landings.

Laysan albatross parent with chick

These still images are taken from movies that NHNZ Images has in its collection. Please check out our website for the on-line catalogue and footage demo reels.

Laysan albatross chick wing-exercising, prior to take-off

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