Gooney Bird, Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) at Midway Island

Gooney Bird - Laysan Albatross

An adult Gooney Bird, Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) at Midway Island. This photo was taken in 2012 when I was privileged to be able to visit the the island again to attend the 60th anniversary ceremony of the Battle of Midway.

I once lived with these birds, most commonly called Gooney Birds, when I was stationed at Midway during my US Navy days 1977-1979. They get their nickname from their awkward landings after spending days and weeks at sea hunting for food for their chicks.

They’re calm and not afraid of humans as long as you keep your distance. If you get too close they are not averse to taking a bite of you. If you’re calm and take it slow they will let you pet them. The best policy is to leave them, or any other wildlife, alone.

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We are a group of Veterans, dependents: wives and children, that have lived at Midway Island. We fell in love with Midway, thus our continued interest and action concerning our old home town.

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For information regarding Midway Island, The Battle of Midway National Monumanet, Midway Atoll NWR or the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument please contact the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

This is not the official website of Midway Island. Please go to