Another female nester arrived in my neighborhood. KP792 came in the morning but was gone by the afternoon. Last year she had a nest with KP505, a male. Both In 2007-08 and 2008-09 KP505 raised a chick with another female, but in 2009 he returned in November and his mate returned in January. By the time she got here, he had already met KP792 and they spent more and more time together, sitting quietly and grooming each other, the quiet contact that is typical of a nesting couple. Last year KP792 and KP505 were the first albatrosses to return to Princeville and they raised a chick that was named Coconut.
Occasionally when one of them was incubating the egg, KP505’s former mate would sit near the nest, but later in the season I did see her displaying with other birds. Albatrosses who are looking for a mate begin the search by participating in courtship displays characterized by a variety of vocalizations and movements. Sometimes these displays involve two birds, often more take part.
The female that Bob Waid saw yesterday came back briefly today, and a male who nests on the Waids’ lawn returned. I will be looking for one bird who is a nester at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge but always comes first to my neighborhood and hangs out for a few days on one lawn in particular. Why? It is those intriguing questions, the behaviors I may never understand, that help to fuel my curiosity about these birds.