The opportunity to get a peek at the daily lives of Laysan albatross is really something special. These birds are on land only for a short time each year to raise chicks. The rest of the time, they are on the wing far out at sea. Thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Kaua'i Albatross Network and the dedicated team maintaining the webcam livestream, we get to see what life is like for an albatross chick.
The camera's angle changes throughout the day so you can get different views of the chicks and the adults. And if you can only check in every so often, the group puts together short highlight reels so you can go back and watch important moments such as an adult feeding a chick.
Here's a collection of clips of one chick's adventure outside the nest cup. You get to see quite a bit of interesting behavior from the chick and visiting adults:
Chicks aren't the only highlight on this livestream. You also get to watch Laysan albatross adults go about their lives, even as they practice their elaborate courtship dance. Check out this amazing ritual:
Because albatross return to the same place they were born to raise their own chicks, this population nesting on Kaua'i is key to the survival of the species. The primary nesting ground for Laysan Albatross, Midway Atoll, will be under water in a matter of years due to sea level rise. Kaua'i is one of few places the albatross will have to go once Midway Atoll is submerged.
According to the webcam's FAQ page, "Nearly 400 pairs started nests on Kauai in the 2014-2015 breeding season. The population has been growing since the late 1970s, when the first albatrosses returned to Kauai after an absence of many centuries. The first chick fledged from Kilauea in 1979. This year about 150 nests are on the grounds of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and about 200 on private lands along a roughly 11-mile stretch of Kauai’s north shore, from Princeville to Anahola."
View the livestream on Cornell's website and enjoy the sights and sounds of albatross living on a tropical island.