Albatross are huge sea birds. One species comes to a certain spot, the Otago Peninsula, in New Zealand every three years to hatch and raise a baby. The white spots you see in the picture are Albatross chicks on the way to becoming the ten foot wingspan creatures their parents are. If one tip of an Albatross wing was on a gym floor the other tip would touch the basketball rim. A surprising fact is that between making babies, these birds never touch land for three years. It’s almost as if they were astronauts going on prolonged space travel or living in a space station. How would it feel to not touch earth for three years at a time? How about just being away from home for a long time? Have you ever done that? What was it like for you?

BTW Here’s a poem I wrote based on my visit to the Otago Peninsula where Albatross come to breed.

Endless Deep

 Albatross lock

ten foot wings

into cliff jumper

hang-gliders

to swoop and soar

bank and glide

on ocean wave updrafts

round

and around the globe

for years without time

till a pulsing need

draws them to land

to the spot they were bred

to breed in turn

before

returning

to hover the endless deep

 

like us

10 feet from wing tip to wing tip…big birds

Two babies waiting for food in their nests

Coming to land after 3 years at sea