Wednesday December 17, 2014
The albatross are back! They are such beautiful birds that soar effortlessly over the ocean. We love observing them as they return to the nesting grounds on our noni farm year after year. During this time, Lola visits the nesting area almost daily to try and capture photos of the new chicks.
This year we had 16 breeding pairs. Each pair laid a single egg. The pair took turns keeping the egg warm while the other mate flew back and forth to Alaska gorging on squid. The trip is 2000 miles of open Ocean from our hillside to Alaska (and back) taking 6 days round trip. They do this for 6 months straight!
The chicks hatched around February, kicking off the name that chick contest! We received many names for the chick we followed this year. Thank you so much for your entries! The family spent hours pouring over the list of names. After much deliberation, we agreed on the name "Moana" which means large body of water in Hawaiian. My family felt Moana was a very fitting name for a sea bird. Around July, Moana grew into an adult bird and fledged (flew away) – never to touch land for almost 4 years.
After that period of time, she will fly back to where she was born as a “juvenile” to hang out and watch how the adults care for their new chicks. Once Moana turns 7 years old, she will select a mate for life and begin raising chicks of her own.
Equally amazing is that Moana's first flight is done by herself with no parent there to coach her. The parents will still be flying back and forth from Alaska to our hillside on Kauai, bringing the next meal of squid. They showed up one day to find Moana has gone, marking the end of breeding season until November when the cycle starts all over again.
We currently have over 10,000 people that follow us on Facebook due in great part to the Albatross. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support in our conservation efforts. The albatross is truly an amazing and beautiful bird. Watch for new photos in November when the adults begin showing up marking the beginning of the next breeding season.