February 2015: The eggs have hatched (page 2 of 2)
8. Several days later, 5 other young adult birds gathered around Fern’s nest in the upper right of this photo. We frequently see other adults gathering around a new chick’s nest. They appear to be fascinated by the new arrival.
9. This year we have 23 new chicks in Princeville, compared to just 10 last year. There seems to be a cycle of several good years (18-23 chicks) followed by a dip.
On the next street, we have this successful nest of an interesting pair. The female was hatched in the immediate area in 2005, nicknamed Hibiscus. Her parents also have a new chick this year, just 30 feet away across the street.
10. Hibiscus is one of the chicks featured in my book, The Majestic Albatross (page 39).
11. Another new chick in the neighborhood belongs to the most prolific pair in Princeville. This pair, KP460/KP524, have hatched 8 chicks over the last 10 years.
12. Not all eggs are successful. The third pair on our property continue to nurture their egg, even though it is now almost 3 weeks past due. They show no signs of giving up. An infertile egg will eventually disintegrate. About 45-50% of the eggs wind up being infertile, but most parents will stay with the egg until all hope is gone.
13. This time of year, the neighborhood is flooded with unattached adult albatross. We have seen as many as 16-20 birds in a two block radius at the same time, not including the nesting pairs. Some are returning young adolescents, like Ana Malia, while others are older adults who have lost mates and are looking for a new relationship, such as KP618/KP252.