Our first chick

I took this photo of Princeville’s first chick yesterday.  Mom was spending most of her time sitting on the chick to keep him warm.  A chick cannot thermoregulate when he first hatches.

K407 and her chick

The first egg in Princeville was laid by K407.  She and her mate, KP531, nested across a yard from his former mate, KP467, who is with a male who nested in Princeville back in the 1993-1994 season, KP424.  At some point after 1994 he moved to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and found a mate there.  But every year before returning to the refuge he would stop in Princeville for a few days, not interacting much, just hanging out.

One year his mate failed to return to the refuge, and KP424 moved back to Princeville.  By that time, KP467 and KP531 had split up.  KP424 had met other females, but KP467 was the one he chose to be his mate, and the feeling was mutual.

Often when an albatross couple splits up, there are no hard feelings.  The fact that former mates nest in the same yard would seem to indicate that nobody holds a grudge.  It is all very civilized.

When I returned to the nest today, Papa was on the chick.  When he stood up I grabbed this photo.


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6 Responses to Our first chick

  1. Lisa Lowry says:

    Wonderful to hear and see. Thank you for keeping a blog. LOVE it.

  2. tradewindsla says:

    Thank you, Lisa. Comments like yours mean a lot to me! I want as many people as possible to love these birds as much as I do!

  3. I love reading your blog and always look forward to reading the stories of these interesting individuals! The first chick is adorable, and it looks like her parents are good ones. Would that humans be so civilized after couples split – I like the way the albatross do things.

  4. now why did i say “she” regarding the chick? We probably won’t know its sex for awhile!

    • tradewindsla says:

      Jane Goodall got in trouble for referring to chimps as “he” or “she” instead of as “it.” I have a hard time using “it” when writing about an albatross. Some languages have a pronoun that can refer to a male or female, and I wish we had that in English. Since we don’t, I am all for calling these birds “he” or “she,” even if you have no idea what sex they are!

  5. Tomo says:

    Hey Kathy – I haven’t checked in in a bit. Great to catch up with all your postings, always a satisfying read.
    How are things going with the colony this 19/20 season? I would think everybody has arrived by now, lots of sky mooing and bill clacking. Our footage from Feb 18 was very good, though still not a final cut. Thanks again for your expert guidance and a place to park. Hope to make it back.

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