7.  Calendar of the Cycle

 

November:  Adults return, usually by second week of the month.  Previous pairs reunite.  New pairs of breeding age adults are formed.  First eggs appear in the last week of the month.

 

December:  Most eggs are laid by mid-December.  The 60-65 day incubation starts.  Both parents settle into the routine of alternate feeding trips.  Unattached adults socialize to prepare for mating in future years.

 

January:  The earliest laid eggs hatch.

 

February:  The remaining viable eggs hatch, normally by mid-February.  Parents cover the chick during the first 3 weeks.


March:  Chicks are left alone most of the time while both parents search for food.

 

April:  Chicks grow quickly and start to move around, always staying close to the nest.


May:  The adult feathers come in and the body fuzz begins to disappear.


June:  Chicks test their wings, although they don't actually fly. By now they are full adult sized and look like adults except for residual fuzz on their heads and necks.  The earlier-hatched chicks fledge when ready.


July:  The remaining chicks fledge, heading out to sea where they will remain for 3-4 years before touching land again.

 

August:  Once parents confirm their chick has left, they return to sea.  Albatross are not seen on Kauai until the return in November.

 

September and October:  All albatross are at sea.

 

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