April 2015: Moving around (page 1 of 2)
Volunteers make a difference:
Recently NOAA notified officials on Kauai that three adult albatross had been found dead at sea, probably killed by commercial fishing. Since the recovered leg tags were in the series assigned to Kauai, they were concerned they might be parents raising chicks. The loss of a parent at this stage usually means the chick will not survive since the remaining parent cannot make enough trips.
Cathy, a volunteer who regularly visits every nest in Princeville to check the status and record parent information, determined one of the three dead albatross, K164, was an active parent of a chick on a golf course in the area. Because of her meticulous records, they knew exactly which chick was at risk.
Permission was given to attempt hand feeding to supplement the efforts of the remaining parent. Had the loss been natural, no one could intervene. But the loss was caused by human activity (fishing), so humans can intervene.
Marilou, another dedicated volunteer, has taken the task of feeding the chick once a week. She feeds it squid, smelt, and vitamins, following guidelines developed by a group known as Save Our Shearwaters (SOS), a local organization which has taken on rescue work for other species here in Kauai.
In future photo blogs, I will follow-up on the chick, which I will call Lucky for the purposes of this blog. The chick is lucky Cathy keeps such good records on all of the nests. He is lucky Marilou has taken on the responsibility of preparing a smelly concoction and feeding him by hand.
The chicks in our neighborhood continue to thrive. Weber has started to venture away from the nest in the hedge. He moved out into the yard.
Weber is healthy and big, very big. You can now see the white adult feathers around his eyes.
About a week later, he ventured onto the driveway. At this stage, he waddles a few steps, then rests on his knees. The white body feathers are showing through the fuzz.
Weber tests out his wings when the wind comes up.