Sochi, the last to fledge

Sochi never seemed to go very far from the nest, she seemed to enjoy staying in her yard and in the front yard next door, not very far away.  Her father, KP497, was banded as a chick in 1997.  I do not know the background of her mother, but she has one of the older bands.  They have been nesting in my neighborhood since 2004, always in the same yard.

Here is a photo from taken in June of Sochi, a parent and Valentine, a 6-year old female who loves to visit the other albatrosses in the neighborhood.  Sochi made a very rudimentary nest, just some dead leaves and twigs to sit on.

Sochi, parent and Valentine

Sochi, parent and Valentine

Sochi started moving around more as it came close to fledging time.  I just missed seeing her leave, but fortunately, a local resident, Gregg Kravitz, was there.  Like the Pied Piper, Sochi led a small group of humans out to the ocean bluff.  Fortunately, the people knew that this was a special event.  Anyone who has visited our neighborhood to watch the chicks becomes used to seeing them sitting in the same area for days on end; changes in the routine can be significant.  Sochi walked with a purpose, away from everything she knew.

Gregg is a big reason why I finally broke down and bought a “smart” phone to replace my dumb one.  I will not be ignoring the people I am with to answer an email, but the ability to film something without carrying my camera everywhere is a powerful incentive for embracing the new technology.

In this film, Sochi has already left her yard and is now two front yards away, further than she has ever been.

Here she is moving closer and closer to the ocean bluff.

Bye bye Princeville!

The people who were renting the house where CJ’s nest was saw an adult sitting near the nest area around this time.  It was probably one of CJ’s parents.  People always used to say that the chicks leave when the parents stop feeding them.  Since I have not watched every nest for 24 hours every day, I cannot say that this never happens, but I can say that I have seen a parent return to a nest after their chick has fledged.  I once had a parent return several times after her chick had left.

One interesting fact about CJ’s mother is that she was banded as a chick in 1989 on an island that has since been covered by the rising sea level.  The biggest threat to the future survival of Laysan albatrosses is the loss of Midway to the ocean.  It is too horrible to think about, but we must.

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