I wanted to add a note to my last post, about Gaga and the fence we had to put up to keep her off of the golf cart path. The fence did not totally surround her, it just separated her from the path. The parents might be able to get into an area that is totally fenced off, but unless the fence covered a very big piece of property, they would not be able to leave. They need to be able to run to take flight. We were lucky Gaga never figured out that she could have walked around the fence.
Most of the albatrosses that I see at this time of year are the birds who have nested in the area before, along with some new nesters that spent a lot of time with each other last season. Usually the males come back first and wait for their mates. Sometimes, the female is the first to return. Timing is everything, because the eggs will be laid in late November and the first half of December. If the mate returns too late, the couple will not nest that season. Today I saw an albatross I mentioned in another post, one who nests at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Every year this bird shows up on the Hoglunds’ lawn either with the first nesters or in mid-December. Why? Do any birds from this area show up like that in other places?
I will close this post with a photo I took today of K407, half of a female-female pair. When my sister, Cindy, and I first started observing we called her Green-Green because of the two colored auxiliary bands she wore. She was originally banded in the 1995-1996 season at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The couple used to nest next to a path to a local beach, but for the last two years they found a quieter spot off the beaten path, in a neighbor’s garden.