The same bird who was first last year, KP618, has returned. He fledged from Princeville 10 years ago and he is sitting in the yard where he was a chick. He raised 3 chicks with his mate. Unfortunately, she disappeared during incubation of their last egg two years ago. But last year he met a female whose mate also disappeared two years ago. She has also helped to raise 3 chicks. Last year I observed this couple sitting quietly together in gentle grooming sessions on 9 different occasions, and neither one was interested in anyone else. Based on their combined experience, they will be good parents.
It is interesting how quickly some albatrosses find a new mate, while others have a much more difficult time. How are they different from each other? I would love to know the answer to that one.