The playful and sometimes comical sea birds commonly seen on Midway Island in Pacific Ocean are often call gooney birds.

The gooney bird is really a large albatross, resembling an overgrown sea gull.

Albatross

Its long, narrow wings, often stretching seven feet from tip to tip, allow it to glide and sail over the water for hours with barely a wingbeat.

It sometimes follows a ship for days, feeding on scraps of food thrown from the ship.

When not nesting, the gooney ranges the high seas, seldom coming close enough to be seen from land.

After several months at sea, the bird seems to have forgotten how to land when it arrives at its nesting grounds.

The touchdown speed is usually far too great, and the once graceful flier becomes an undignified gooney bird awkwardly sprawling across the ground. – Dick Rogers

 

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