You Make The Diagnosis: Endangered Seabird

Hawaii is home to a variety of birds, many of which are endangered. The seabirds pictured below only come to shore to reproduce. The birds were hatched in the Princeville area of Kauai, spent three years at sea then returned to find a mate. They won’t produce eggs until eight years of age. This species of bird is known for elaborate courtship displays that involve bowing, chattering and clacking their bills. These birds were hanging out in a quiet neighborhood next to a road. After they heard human voices, they started clacking their bills. Name this bird.

Diagnosis: Laysan Albatross

Laysan Albatross spend their entire lives at sea, only coming ashore to reproduce.  They eat fish, crustaceans, squid and flying fish eggs. These amazing birds can actually sleep while flying!  According to Dr. Rattenborg, birds may allow one half of their brain to enter into slow-wave sleep while keeping the other half alert to predators.   

More information at (general facts) and /bcCreatePost.aspx (abstract of Dr. Rattenborg’s research).

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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