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Seabird census shows 1.4 million birds at Midway Atoll

The number of seabirds nesting at Midway Atoll has hit a record high.

The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument said Friday volunteers counted more than 660,000 pairs of Laysan albatross at Midway this nesting season.

They also counted 28,610 pairs of black-footed albatross at the small atoll about 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu.

The previous record for Laysan albatross was nearly 490,000 pairs in 2006. The record for black-footed albatross was 28,581 in 2011.

This year’s final count was for nearly 1.4 million individual birds.

An albatross sitting on an egg in a nest represents a breeding pair and was counted once. Birds present but not on an egg may be immature, unpaired or just resting. They weren’t counted.

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