Midway. It seems like a dream.
A flat atoll surrounded by hundreds of miles of sea, home to (seemingly) no one. And yet, it is one of the most prolific and important breeding sites for a variety of seabirds.
According to BirdLife International, more than 70% of the world's Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and almost 40% of the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) populations breed on Midway each year. In fact, almost 3 million birds from 23 different species (some more rare than others) flock to this atoll during the breeding season. That's equal to about the entire population of the state of Mississippi-- all crammed into the tiny 2.4 square miles (or 6.2 square kilometers) that comprise Midway Atoll.
And, in just a few days, I will be travelling over 3,000 miles (about 10 times the distance that I used to drive from my home in Boise, Idaho to the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho) to this speck of an atoll. You can't get much further from anywhere else on Earth than on Midway. As you can see below, this atoll truly is "mid-way" in the Pacific Ocean between North America and Asia.
Wieteke Holthuijzen: budding environmental scientist, passionate birder.