Solving A Biological Puzzle On Middleton Island

Picture a giant chicken coop in the middle of a treeless island in the Gulf of Alaska. But the coop is really an old concrete Air Force radar tower. And instead of chickens, it holds Black-Legged Kittiwakes. With a few tweaks, this dilapidated building has become one of the best outdoor bird observation platforms in the world. Federal biologist Scott Hatch has spent the last 15 years taking advantage of it. And he’s uncovered a fascinating puzzle that could offer clues into the aging process.

Part One: Download Audio (MP3)

On Middleton Island in the Gulf of Alaska a biologist from the United States Geological Survey is studying a colony of Black-Legged Kittiwakes. Scott Hatch calls kittiwakes the “white lab rats of the seabird world” because they’re so common and easy to study. But these birds are anything but boring.

Part Two: Download Audio (MP3)

Slideshow by Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Photos courtesy of USGS/Voice of USGS biologist Scott Hatch