I was hoping to have another chick in my yard this year. I think Kirwan was the most photographed albatross in Princeville last season, standing by the side of the road, running to Mom or Dad with an excited little 2-note greeting, letting neighboring chicks know that this was his territory. But although his mother, Roger, came back on November 27th, his dad, Hanai, showed up on December 11th. By that time, all of the eggs in Princeville had already been laid. I have rarely seen fertile eggs laid in late December. It may be that when a nester chooses not to nest in a season, he or she returns long after most of the nesters have come back.
Roger was very excited to see him, and so were their human admirers. They spent a short time together, then both flew off again. When they returned, they shared more time sitting together, grooming and displaying. During one display in my yard, another female attempted to join them. Roger immediately reacted, chasing her away and biting her on the wing. Hanai then chased Roger, who was very distressed. When I went outside to see the outcome, the other female was running away and Hanai was gently grooming Roger at the spot where they nested last year. I have observed that Hanai was happy to display with other females, but he never sat at the nest site with anyone other than his mate.
All was forgiven, I think.
They will probably be back during the season, to renew their bond and for other reasons I have never been able to determine, sometimes just hanging out. For birds that are supposed to spend almost all of their time at sea, particularly when they are not raising a chick, many of the Princeville nesters spend a surprising number of days on land.
I think the solution would be to teach these birds to read, so they act the way they are supposed to. So far, I have only found one albatross that respects the written word:
i love reading your posts! so glad Hanai groomed Roger and reassured her. and that funny picture of the albatross chick obeying the sign – lol
happy new year to you and the albatrosses!
I love reading your comments! I had put that sign up to keep people from getting too close to the chick, but he seemed to like sitting close to the sign post. The chicks love to investigate their environment!