As of today, I have seen about 150 albatrosses in Princeville, and we have 45 nests.
Of these 45 nests, 19 are female/female. That is approximately 42%.
How do I know that some of the couples are two females? Either this season or in previous years there were two eggs at the nests of these 18 couples. An albatross can only lay one egg, which means that there had to be two females at the nest.
An albatross cannot incubate two eggs. Yesterday I was going to remove a second egg that was interfering with KP894’s ability to keep one warm enough to survive. She and her partner have never had a fertile egg, so it was doubtful that even this egg removal would help, but there is always hope. I was unable to take the egg because she turned into a fire-breathing dragon and tried to kill me. Some people think that these birds must recognize me and have special feelings for me. Most of the time I am just part of the scenery to them, but occasionally when I get too close, they let me know that they would really rather not share their world with me. That’s fine with me, wild animals are usually better off if they do not trust human beings.
One of the female/female couple always builds their nests uncomfortably close to the golf course driving range.
There will be more nests to come, and there will eventually be chicks at some of them. Last year about one third of the couples that had nests had healthy chicks that fledged from Princeville. It is an honor to help them, even if my help is shockingly underappreciated.
Out of the 18-19 female couples, how many receive fertile eggs from the military range? Have you seen any male partner relationships.
Thank you for keeping us all informed.
Princeville is not being given fertile eggs. It was decided that they would be safer in areas surrounded by a fence. In one incident about 5 year ago, 24 albatrosses were killed by dogs who got into a private fenced area. We have never had that many birds killed here. In fact, we have not had that many killed by dogs in all the years I have lived here, since 2001. Also, unless private properties are put into a Conservation Easement, there is no guarantee that the fences will be maintained, and that people will keep an eye out for the safety of the birds. Everyone in Princeville watches out for them, people are attracted to this community by the presence of these birds. Princeville probably has the highest rate in Kauai of people keeping their dogs leashed, and the law is enforced by private patrol officers. The nests are so spread out that there is no way 24 birds could be killed at once. Aside from Na AIna Kai Gardens, as of this moment none of the large private properties that have albatrosses nesting on them can guarantee the future safety of these birds. It all depends on who owns the properties in the future. That is kind of a big gamble, if you ask me.