Meet Orion, an albatross chick born four houses down from Honu Point. He was born during the third week in January 2017 and has two very dedicated parents looking after him. He was about three weeks old when I took the top photo. The parents had determined that he was old enough to not need their body warmth anymore and had flown off to find food. This left the little guy vulnerable to preditors. Fortunately there is a leash law in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii so dogs are generally not a danger. Feral cats are the concern.
Just a few days after he was born, while one guardian left to fly 800 to 1600 miles away for food, the other one arrived from afar to feed the hungry chick. As the parent opened its throat and regurgitated the food and oil into its mouth, I caught Orion eagerly slurping up the nurishment in this video. If you have the volume up you can hear them communicating as well. Please excuse the squirt from the rear.
Every November a colony of albatross comes back to Kaweonui Street in Princeville to mate and have their young. Once the egg is layed the parents take turns sitting on it for approximately two months until the chick “pips” his/her way out of the egg. Never straying far from the nest, the chicks rely on their parents for food and gradually loose their fluff to adult feathers fit for flying. By July the chicks are old enough to find the bluff and take the giant leap of faith, flying out over the ocean not to return to land for three years. One of my first blogs on https://www.honupointvacationrental.com/our-local-guide/ describes the entire life cycle. To find it move down to the bottom of that page and click on “Previous.” Scroll to the bottom until you find “Meet the Albatross of Kaweonui Road.”
I took this photo of Orion and one of its parents on February 24th 2017. Orion was just about five weeks old at the time.
Many tourists come from all over the island to see the albatross mating rituals and chicks throughout the Princeville Resort. The adults soaring over the ocean and along the bluffs are pretty amazing to watch as well. Because the adults return to where they were born, we are always lucky enough to have several nests and lots of adults right around our property. If you happen to be staying at Honu Point during July you may even be fortunate enough to watch one fledge as they often take that big leap right off our property.
I’ll be posting more photos of Orion as he continues to grow into an adult.
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