One of the female parents at this nest used to nest with a male in my neighborhood. He did not return in 2007-2008 and she relocated to the golf course, where she met her current mate. Both birds have been DNA tested so their sex is known. Since they had 2 eggs their first year nesting, and since an albatross can only lay one egg at a time, we would know their sex anyway.
During the 5 years they have been together they incubated 4 fertile eggs of their own. One of them obviously has been with a male. This is very unusual for a female/female couple in Princeville, where the albatrosses nest over a wide area and it is less likely for a returning female to be jumped by a male.
In this photo you can see a tired little chick, exhausted after 3 days of pipping. He’s not quite all of the way out of the shell, but I know that when I check today he will be dry and fluffy. He has the benefit of two skilled mothers.
One of his siblings used to sit on the golf cart path and required a small fence to keep him safely in the grass. The one last year developed a taste for fairway living; neither parent nor observer could convince him that this was not a good idea. The golf course warned players to watch out for him.
Who knows what trouble this chick will get into when he’s a bit older? Bring it on, little guy, we will all do our best to keep you safe.