There were no new albatrosses in Princeville today. Yesterday KP467 finally met up with her mate in my neighborhood, today she was gone and he was sitting alone. They should meet again in ten days more or less, then she will lay an egg and the male will take the first incubation shift, which is usually the longest one.
I would like to share a photograph of a chick named Liho, sent to me by Mona Gardner from Tampa, Florida Liho’s parents used to nest in a vacant lot which is now covered in condominiums. As their nesting area disappeared they crossed over to the other side of Ka Haku, the main road through Princeville. Theirs is the only nest on that side of the street. Two other chicks of theirs fledged from there and both times they began their journey by walking across Ka Haku. They were lucky they were not hit by cars.
Last August Liho started making practice flights over the 9th fairway on the Makai course. John Bowen and I started spending more and more time keeping an eye on him. Mona was one of the people who stopped by to see how he was doing, and she took the photo below. On August 2nd, when the wayward chick started getting closer and closer to Ka Haku Road, we brought him to a safe fledging spot on an ocean bluff. He attracted a small group of interested humans but disappointed them by spending the night out there, and he did not fledge until after 5 P.M. the next day.
It takes patience, a lot of free time and a good helping of luck to see an albatross chick fledge.