Navigation Menu+

Midway Atoll – The Paradise of the Birds

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 by in ISLANDS, SPOTLIGHT | 0 comments

The Midway Islands or Midway Atoll [1] is a wildlife refuge in the north Pacific Ocean, roughly “midway” between California and East Asia, just east of the International Date Line. It was made famous by an Oscar-winning color documentary in 1942, and a 1976 feature film, both about the battle which marked a turning point in World War II.

Please Note: Due to budget issues within the U.S. federal government, all travel to Midway Atoll was suspended for 2013, and will also be suspended for 2014. There is no word yet whether or not travel to the atoll will be suspended beyond 2014.

Nearly 5 million members of 17 species of seabirds nest on the islands, including 2 million albatross both Laysan and Black-footed. 80% of the world’s population of Laysan albatrosses are found at Midway, more affectionately known as the “gooney bird” for their awkward landings and especially for their entertaining mating rituals. Endangered Hawaiian monk seals (7-8 feet, up to 500 lbs) haul themselves onto land to rest and to give birth and raise their young. Giant green sea turtles (up to 400 lbs) are frequent visitors and have recently been documented nesting on Midways beaches, and a pod of 250-300 spinner dolphins lives – and often performs acrobatics – in and around the atoll’s shallow lagoon. There is also a small but growing population of Laysan ducks, the most endangered waterfowl in the northern hemisphere.

Currently the main way to get to Midway Atoll is through a non-profit marine conservation organization based in San Francisco called Oceanic Society.  Oceanic Society has a long history of involvement in bringing tourists to Midway as well as volunteers who contributed the the Fish and Wildlife programs relating to Historical restoration, habitat restoration, and monitoring research with seabirds, spinner dolphins and monk seals. Oceanic Society


Submit a Comment