I have on occasion found some unusually disgusting rejected meals sitting next to albatross chicks. Sometimes a parent will try to stuff an incredibly large piece of food down the chick’s throat. This is generally a large chunk of squid or fish. People who are not familiar with albatross chicks would be surprised at the size of meals they can eat, but I think this chick was a bit too young for the thing I found near one who was sitting near his mother. Once chicks reject or are unable to swallow something like this, they do not go back to it. Seafood left sitting outside gets fairly whiffy, and it must be removed so cats are not attracted to it. If I were a true scientist, I would have wrapped up the stinky item and taken it home to dissect, but the thought of taking this for a ride in my car did not give me a warm tummy feeling.
I took these photos with my cell phone, putting a pen near the object so the size was apparent. I should have taken better photos once the object was further away from the chick, but someone offered to bag it, put it in the back of a truck truck and carry it away, and that was an offer I could not refuse.
So far, people have suggested that this might be a smooth sea cucumber, a giant tube worm, a marine worm, and a decomposing eel, partially digested and de-pigmented. It may have died and floated to the surface, and Mom might have grabbed it thinking it would keep the chick full for some time. She did not seem to hold it against her chick that her effort had all been for naught. Albatross moms are quite forgiving.
WELCOME BACK CATHY!!!! Love it!!!!!
Jake, you shamed me into working on my blog again!
Love the story! Hope the chick and mom are ok, too.
This chick is gigantic! His mom and dad are experienced chick raisers, so I have no doubt he will be fledging this summer. I’m sure the mom is fine, it really is amazing how much food they can carry. She is now out over the ocean somewhere, looking for something wonderful to feed her chick!
Good grief Cathy, that thing is enormous…or else you went out of your way to find a teeny tiny pen! 😀 Have you found out what it is yet?? Whatever it is, I’m with the chick…that’s not what I want for lunch either! 😀
I really should have taken better photos of it, once it had been pulled away from the nest area. I used my cell phone because I thought it was less disturbing to the chick and Mom than my big camera would have been. But next time, I will be sure to get good closeups of the whole body, especially the ends!