As of today, I have seen 28 albatrosses in Princeville. I know I have missed seeing others who stayed briefly and were spotted by other people. Sometimes after nesters meet up with their mates they will spend a little time here, sometimes they leave the same day they arrive. For this reason, even though I am checking every day I know I miss some albatrosses.
I saw one bird on the golf course who spent a great amount of time last season interacting with a bird that was banded far from here. GreenH162 was banded as a chick in June of 2002 on Tern Island, at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. I started seeing this bird when he or she was 8 years old. Why did greenH162 decide to relocate to Kauai? I would love to know. If they nest together I will definitely let the staff at French Frigate Shoals know about it.
Here is a photo of a bird in my neighborhood, KP404, who helped KP756 incubate a PMRF egg that never hatched. I hope they have a good one this year. This picture is unusual because the albatrosses do not often sit on rocks. Photogenic, isn’t she?
If you read my blog last year, you may remember the saga of KP531, who abandoned his long time mate in favor of a new one. Yesterday I saw him with this first mate, sitting close to her and looking husbandly. By late afternoon he was sitting alone. She may have left thinking she would be coming back to the old KP531, the one who would help her incubate her eggs and raise her chicks. We shall see what happens if his second mate returns.
I think this will be a good year for albatrosses, I look forward to some busy afternoons collecting data and recording it online. The online data is the source of most of the information I share in this blog, so I spend a lot of time making certain that it is as clear and as meaningful as I can make it. Writing this blog has improved my ability to organize information and to use Excel, although I could still use some instruction in both!