I would like to refer you to the website of my friend and neighbor, Bob Waid. Bob is an excellent photographer and has produced a DVD and a book about our albatrosses, and sells both on his website. He donates all the proceeds from his sales to conservation projects which help protect albatrosses and other wildlife in Kauai’i. Bob has very good information about the albatrosses at www.albatrosskauai.com. Check the “Learn more” tab on that page. I am going to try not to duplicate Bob’s information but I may emphasize parts of it, and add a bit more.
Every year, sadly, some of the nesting albatrosses do not return to Princeville. Some of the non-nesters may miss a year, or only show up occasionally, but when I do not see a nester I am fairly certain that he or she is gone. We will never know what happened to them. They could have died of natural causes, or they might have died while grabbing a fish hook used in long line fishing, or in a fishing net near the water’s surface. Weighting these lines and nets can help avoid this hazard for surface feeders like the albatrosses. Floating plastic is another problem for albatrosses. Parents often feed plastic items to their young. I once found a chick choking on fishing line covered with fish eggs, a favorite albatross food.
In this blog I will share some of the observations I have recorded over the years. My hope is that by the time the last albatross chick has fledged, you will have an appreciation for how the Laysan albatrosses who choose to nest in our community have learned to cope in our alien world.