I was laying in bed the other night pondering what my next blog would entail, and I couldn’t help but think that it was time for me to elaborate more on the wildlife here. I hope that this will paint a brief illustration of the life that my team and I have gotten to live alongside of during our time on island. So with that said, this one is for you, sweet wildlife of Kure.
I could never describe to you all how much of an impact you have left on my life since I stepped foot on your land, because it would take more than a lifetime. I have found a deeper appreciation for Mother Nature, thanks to you, as well as the importance behind everything that our Mother provides for us in life.
I’ll start off with the boobies (my personal favorites). You are silly birds, yet very inquisitive. Somehow you can manage to look straight through our souls on any given day, although we both know that you mean well. I may or may not have engaged in a light staring competition with a few of you. Yes, I’ll admit that I have never won! Your style of walking resembles a mixture of pride and pure goofiness. I have always been in awe of your sleek feathers and variety of coloration from your bright bills all the way down to your webbed feet. Whether you are red footed, masked, or a brown booby, you have my heart.
Petrels and shearwaters, unfortunately I have had a handful of close encounters with you. I apologize for breaking into your homes and having to scoop you out of the ground as I gently blow sand off of your baby-like innocent faces. I’m sure that you can feel the worry in my hands and breath each time. If I were to give a digging award out on Kure it would be a close call between the both of you. You birds know how to dig a burrow (or 100) thats for sure. Oblivion could be your middle name, but we enjoy your pure presence. I’m glad that we can be night owls together here!
Red-tailed tropic birds, you’re one of my favorites! You have very unique features, including your bright reddish orange beaks as well as your single long, thin-as-a-noodle tail feather. Your vocalization is definitely one to stick out of a crowd of seabirds, or even startle a crew member! We haven’t seen too many of you since winter has set in, we have missed you dearly. I am looking forward to seeing more of you return on island as spring and summer come along.
As for the black footed, laysan and hybrid albatross, I cannot put into words how much respect and admiration I have for your consistency of a balance between loyalty, strength and pure love. Your genuine souls will live on forever. Everywhere I look on island there is either one of you dancing with a partner or group, caring for an egg, flying with swift ease in the skies of Holaniku, running on water, or singing in your own little world. You have left a true mark on my heart since I’ve met your family here.
Sooty and white terns, you are quite interesting and lovely to be around. If you asked for a nickname I would refer to your species as Curious George! I enjoy taking a break here and there during work to look up and enjoy the view of your joyous souls fluttering close above eye level. You may think you are sneaky at times, but I have to tell you that the shadows and constant chirping may give you away!
Black and brown noddys, your cartoon character appearance never fails to make me smile. My mom has always told me that one of my horses resembles a cartoon, too. I now understand what she means. Your species has a pretty chill personality, you keep to yourselves and just live your lives, I respect it. I feel like I’m talking about my brother now, you both would get along well!
Laysan teal ducks, you guys and gals are the true life of the party. I and the rest of the team enjoy your company around camp and during our morning duck checks. If I had one word to describe your species it would be entertaining. You may not know it, but your kind is always putting on a show for the island! When its pouring rain or time to clean dishes, we know where to find the Laysan Teal party. And no, unfortunately you still cannot hang out on the dish cleaning station.
Iwas, I remember seeing you for the very first time during my intro week on Kure. I had viewed you as the leader of the island. The bird full of wisdom, the one that flies above all on island. Looking up at the dynamic structure of your build high in the sky while lying down on the beach has been one of the many little things I appreciate here. You seem like the quiet type, but in your younger years you can make noise like no other! I am and always will be impressed with your being and how you carry yourself, great frigate bird.
Shorebirds, the quickness of your petite stick-figure legs always seems to crack a smile on my face when you move back and forth along the shoreline, as the lagoon waves roll in and out. Although we call you shorebirds, you make sure to show your travels inland, too, which we enjoy very much! I am glad that you and the monk seals can share the beaches here in harmony. After all, sharing is caring, right?
Hawaiian monk seals, oh how incredible I find your family. I marvel over your lifestyle and history. Every part of you is special, inside and out. You have a gentle yet fierce soul, and if there were napping contests here on Kure, I’d bet on you every time. I am looking forward to learning more about you as I go through life, I send only better days and hope to your species. Please spread your contagious peacefulness to the rest of the sea and humanity, you would be doing us a favor to say the least.
I wanted to thank you all once more, as well as the ones that I have yet to meet on island. With your guidance and presence you’ve shown me the true meaning of living, as well as the connection that I have been longing to find with the Earth for quite some time. Keep doing your thing out there, I am rooting for you. I will do my best to “make the wild, wild again”, as David Attenborough would say.