The first albatross to return to Princeville

I was a terrible keeper-of-the-blog last year, but I promise to be much better this season.  I will throw in some information about last year’s batch of birds in Princeville as the season progresses, in addition to stories of this year’s albatross visitors.

Last year, I saw my first albatross on November 10th.  She was in my neighbors’ backyard, and I cannot share a band number because there was no band on either leg.  Usually the nesting males are the first ones back, with some exceptions.  Unbanded is a female.  And the first one to return this year is also a female, as is her mate.  The two 8-year olds had their first nest together last year.  Unfortunately, they had 2 unfertilized eggs so there was no chick for them to raise.

K771, first albatross back, is Ana Malia.  Her parents have split up since she fledged.  Dad has found someone else to nest with, and Mom has not quite adjusted to not having a mate.  Mom has an interesting background.  She was banded on Oahu, but she fledged from Whale-Skate Island northwest of us.  That island was a victim of the rising sea level caused by climate change; it is now totally submerged, so she can never go back there again.  I hope she finds a new mate this season, she is a very good parent.

K771’s mate, K769, grew up a couple of yards away from Ana Malia.  Both of her parents have disappeared, and are probably deceased, unfortunately.  K769 is Barney.  Since the mother of my last two chicks is named Roger, I will not complain about Barney’s name.

This is Ana Malia giving herself a good grooming.  She is currently sitting right across the street from where she and Barney had their nest last year.  She must figure that this is a good spot for meeting up with her mate.  Nesters almost always come back to the area where they nested the year before.

Ana Malia tidying up

 

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9 Responses to The first albatross to return to Princeville

  1. Alice McDevitt says:

    Thank you Cathy, for all your information. For all your effort, your diligence. We love it!
    The Albatross nation

  2. tradewindsla says:

    Thank you, Albatross nation, for keeping watch over the birds!
    It takes a village to raise an albatross!

  3. I was just thinking about your wonderful blog, and that it was about time for somebody to show up… thank you so much for documenting the lives and times of the amazing albatross! Through you, we get to “know” them a little too. Ana Maria is beautiful. Do two nesting females ever get one of their eggs fertilized by an unattached male? The pairs seem (mostly) so loyal to each other.

    • oops. typo! I meant to type Ana Malia!

    • tradewindsla says:

      I always hope that a female in a 2-female pair gets jumped by a male because I love to see them get a chance to raise a chick. It is more likely to happen in a more crowded nesting area like Midway. The nests here are more spread apart, there is less chance. We always have a lot of failed female/female nests here, unfortunately.

  4. Mona Gardner says:

    Nice to hear from you again! Here’s hoping for a very productive nesting season. Best wishes.

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