It is always exciting when one happens upon an albatross courting dance. Last month I heard the distinctive sounds of two albatross just four doors down from Honu Point Vacation Rental. I grabbed my phone and sat down on the other side of a hedge to watch the show. Soon one of the birds came through the hedge and walked toward me. I started this video as the other one came over in hot pursuit. Some preening and bobbing started; sure signs that there was love in the air.
Shortly after I ended this video, the real dance started. So, I hit my phone’s red button again and caught the full-on courting dance. I have seen this many times over the years, and I am always amazed at the routine. The copy-cat movements, bobbing up and down, stretching of neck, and what IS under that wing anyway? Turn your sound up and enjoy!
By looking at each of the bird’s tags I was able to find out from Cathy Graham, our neighborhood expert, who these birds were. What a story. The female had been one of a female-female pair who had never produced a chick and whose partner did not come back. The male had been part of a male-female pair who parented a chick (Bodie) last year, who sadly died just before fledging. The female did not return this year and perhaps that had something to do with the death of the chick. Often times adult albatross consume so much plastic out at sea that when they regurgitate the contents of their stomach into the chick, it cannot survive. The consumption of plastic and long line fishing are the most likely causes of death for albatross. So, with both partners gone, I suppose these two were moving on. Their names are Tennie and Click. With any luck they will hook up and be back next year to produce another chick for the neighborhood.
I have written many blogs about the albatross on the road to Honu Point. Arriving in November and staying until the chicks fledge in July or August, they always give us something special to see, whether in the air or on the ground. The young adults are around this time of year, trying to find that perfect mate. Parents are taking turns staying with and feeding the chicks. We feel lucky to have them, as Princeville is one of the only places on earth where the Laysan albatross nest among people. Check out my other albatross blogs for more information, photos, and videos at https://www.honupointvacationrental.com/kauai-albatross/.
Bird Watching Tours:
Cathy Granholm – A walk around the neighborhood
For more of my blogs on other topics, or to subscribe, go to our Guides page. For information about our Kauai vacation rental on the north shore where you have the opportunity to be up close and personal with these birds, go to any other page of this website. Mahalo!