Sad story – part 2

After being attacked by K233 and his new mate, purpleO324 left Princeville.  But first she spent the night less than 20 feet from her former mate and KP465.

I looked back at my data and found that the year before she first mated with K233, purpleO324 was in Princeville on 50 days!  It is an accepted “fact” that an albatross spends a small fraction of time on land, but 50 is close to two months.  That is not 50 days straight, she obviously had to eat occasionally.  She tried different areas of Princeville and associated with a number of birds before finding K233.  In that same year, K233 was here for 33 days.

In their next non-nesting year, 2010-2011, she was here for just 15 days, and K233 was here for 35 days.  They displayed what I call married couple behavior, quiet contact, on 9 days.  She never socialized with other birds, but K233 displayed with other birds on 7 days.

Their next non-nesting year was 2012-2013.  PurpleO324 was here for 9 days, her mate for  21.  They were engaged in quiet contact on 3 days, and he displayed with other birds on 3 days.

Last year, they displayed together on one day, and had quiet contact on another.

K233 also displayed with 4 different birds, but then displayed 4 times with KP465 and had quiet contact with her on 2 other occasions.  That might not sound like an impressive amount of time, but he was with his mate only twice.

It is always tempting to give them attributes we associate with humans, but we really should not judge them when they fail to live up to the expectations we have for people.  So even though I felt terrible when I saw the blood on purpleO324’s bill, and saw how isolated she was from her former mate, I am not going to judge K233 the way I would judge Homo sapiens.  They are birds, that’s a pretty good excuse.





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