Please allow me to rant a bit about my biggest pet peeve….
The people who give me the hardest time are the ones who think they have some sort of a psychic connection with the albatrosses. Sometimes these people will stay near the birds for a long time, perhaps hoping for the perfect photograph. They feel that if the bird does not jump up and run away when they approach, it must be because he can sense a special bond with that person.
This is dangerous baloney!
An albatross will never act like a dog or cat, animals which have been domesticated over thousands of years to know how to act around humans. These are wild birds, they do not want to have a relationship with humans. They find their own nest sites, hunt for food without human help, and they do not come here to see Homo sapiens. Some of them WILL run like crazy if people get close to them, but most of them will not. They have evolved in a world where predators live in the ocean, not on land, and they do not have the instinct to flee when people, or, unfortunately, dogs get too close to them. This is a big disadvantage for them when they attempt to colonize new territory or to return to an island where they once lived before the arrival of humans.
Their immediate and most deleterious response to stress is invisible to any human being; the albatrosses will produce a hormone that can actually make them less physically fit. By insisting on getting too close, people can have a negative affect on the future well-being of the birds. It is a very selfish thing to do and it shows a complete disregard for the albatrosses. They do not come here to sacrifice their health and to provide entertainment for us.
If you want to learn how to help them, please see my “How to help” section.