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​Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift: Adopt an Albatross

By Wayne Sentman

© Wayne Sentman

Did you know that albatross pairs mate for life, and that in order to raise a chick to fledging that both parents must be work together to care for their chick? Or that albatross can live over 60 years, and that the oldest known seabird is a Laysan Albatross named Wisdom, who is still having chicks and has been living on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge since 1956?

What better way to say "I love you" and to demonstrate your never-ending devotion than by adopting an albatross chick for your valentine? You can adopt one of this year's newly hatched chicks, and your valentine will receive an adoption certificate and periodic updates, until the end of summer, from field researchers living on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge about how this year’s nesting population of Laysan and Black-footed Albatross are doing.

A Laysan Albatross pair. Albatross pairs mate for life. © Wieteke Holthuijzen

Proceeds from your adoption will go to help support the long-term seabird habitat restoration efforts that our partners at Friends of Midway Atoll and Kure Atoll Conservancy are working to accomplish. The rest of the adoption funds will be used to assist Oceanic Society with our efforts to promote the reduction of plastic pollution through education and outreach projects and our Blue Habits initiative.

If you want to put that sparkle in your lover’s eyes and show him or her that you have found your life-mate, then I can think of no better symbol for that than presenting your valentine with a newly adopted albatross.

Laysan Albatross pairs work together to rear their offspring. © Wieteke Holthuijzen

Author

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.