My pet peeve!

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.

4 Responses to My pet peeve!

  1. Tomo says:

    An insight that carries over into just about everything that people do – if no one or nothing runs/explodes/bursts into flames/gets fat or goes extinct on the spot, then it must be OK to do.

  2. Liz says:

    Is anyone trying to urge US Fish and Wildlife to give them some protective space from visitors?

    • tradewindsla says:

      The albatrosses in Princeville are spread out all over the community. There is no way to police these areas, other than to put signs up at nests. We actually do not have too many problems from visitors getting too close, every year they seem to me to be better educated. There are exceptions, of course, and everyone in the community can help to keep an eye on the albatrosses and to encourage people not to get too close. I especially encourage people to report loose dogs, they can be deadly. Please call Princeville Patrol at 826-6181 to report an unleashed dog. The albatrosses have no natural fear of dogs. These birds depend on all of us to keep them safe!

  3. Thank you for this educational piece; it’s important for people to know and respect these guidelines, especially as concerns loose dogs and human stressors on the albatrosses.

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