Photo: David Patte/USFWS The adults will ingest plastic products and other items they mistake as food, and inadvertently feed them to their young. (It's estimated that as many as five tons of plastic are accidentally fed to albatross chicks each year.)
Said refuge biologist Pete Leary: "It is a poignant and overwhelming reality that plastics discarded at sea float, from toothbrushes to millions of bottle caps, and are used as a substrate for flying fish to attack their eggs, a food highly prized by foraging albatross and ultimately regurgitated into the chick's mouth."
Leary added that a chick's survival is solely dependent on the health of its mother and her mate, which combine to provide food and protection. Midway boasts the world's largest population of Laysan albatross, soaring surface feeders with six-foot wingspans.
About 71% of the world's population nests at the atoll, which is most famous for the Battle of Midway and the atoll'spivotal role during World War II.
When the birds are not nesting, they soar in wind currents for thousands of miles while foraging.
They do this for five months before returning to the same nesting sites, year after year. During the nesting season, the female and male albatross take turns foraging while the other cares for the chick.
An albatross will lay only one egg per year, and its believed that Wisdom has raised at least 30 to 35 chicks, possibly many more.
That's one busy bird!