Gooney Birds Were There By The 100,000's

Los Angeles To Midway To Hawaii To Los Angeles In 21 Days

Gooney Birds

Not This Kind!

C117 Gooney Bird

Laysan Albatross, Diomedea immutabilis

Chicks Popularly called the Gooney bird, pairs mate for life and can build elaborate mound-like nests to which they return each year.

The typical bird stands about 18" tall, weighs about 5½ pounds and has about a 7 foot wing span.

The Laysan Albatross has a wide range across the North Pacific. Its main breeding colonies are in the Hawaiian Islands, particularly the islands of Midway and Laysan.

It also nests in the Bonin Islands near Japan, and has recently began to colonize islands off Mexico, such as Guadalupe Island.

When away from the breeding areas they range widely from Japan to Alaska and down to California, but usually far offshore.

Feeding Time The Laysan Albatross is colonial, nesting on scattered small islands and atolls, often in huge numbers.

They also have a protracted breeding cycle. Juvenile birds return to the colony three years after fledging, but will not mate for the first time until they are seven or eight years old. over these four or five years they form pair bonds with a mate that they will keep for life.

Courtship entails especially elaborate 'dances' that have up to 25 ritualized movements.

Courtship Both birds incubate the single egg, with the male being the first to incubate the egg after laying.

The incubation takes about 65 days, after which the chick is brooded for a few days, after which both parents are out at sea to provision for the growing chick.

The chick takes about 160 days to fledge, a long investment for the parents (which may explain the long courtship, both parents want to sure the other is serious). The chicks are fed a stomach oil by the parents.