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Our Kauai Albatross Are Back In The Neighborhood!

Published on December 2, 2019 by Rae-Marie May

Those of you who have been following my blogs for awhile know how much I LOVE our Kauai albatross. Each November we wait, not-so-patiently, for the adult birds to return home to our neighborhood. They have been up north, as far as Alaska, gorging on the summer's wealth of food. But, when the weather starts turning cold, these amazing birds head south to their place of birth where they hopefully meet up with their partner in order to produce yet one more offspring.

I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Larry and Dora, the proud parents of Pela who was born last year in the cul-de-sac at the foot of Honu Point's driveway. I was given the opportunity to choose his/her name (still don't know the gender). Pela means "soar" in Hawaiian. Once you see an albatross in flight, you will know why I chose that name.

Pela - Laysan albatross chick - Kauai

Photo: Pela - one month old

First Larry showed up and then, on Saturday, Dora arrived (together in the photo at top). With any luck Dora will lay a fertile egg and we will have a new chick by the end of January. After being away from each other for months they show plenty of affection, talking to and preening each other. If they make their nest in the cul-de-sac again, and the egg produces a chick, I will have to come up with another name! I have my fingers crossed.

Kauai albatross arrived in the late seventies. Each year hundreds of thousands of Laysan albatross nest on Midway, an island north of Kauai. For some reason, in 1977, a few flew further south and now Princeville is one of the only places on earth where these black and white beauties nest among people. In Honu Point's neighborhood we generally end up with eight to twelve nests. Once the chicks fledge (fly for the first time), they stay out at sea for three to five years before returning to land. By the time they are eight they are ready to find that mate who will stay with them for life (most of the time, anyway). So, for the next few months we will not only have partners raising their young, but we will also have young adults desperately trying to impress each other. This video was taken by me last April. Just imagine the two males saying, "Pick me!"

As the months go by I will not be able to resist sharing updates on the Kauai albatross of 2020. Over the last three years I have written 18 other blog posts about these unique birds that grace our neighborhood. If you would like to view my other blogs, including a video of Pela fledging, click here.

Bird Watching Tours

For a fabulous bird tour of the north shore, I highly recommend Hob Osterlund. She has expert knowledge of Kauai birds and has dedicated her life to the albatross of Kauai.

When the albatross chicks are nesting from January to July, take a walk around the neighborhood with Cathy Graham. She has been documenting the Kauai albatross in Princeville for many years and has plenty of stories to tell.

Recommended Books

Holy Moli: Albatross and Other Ancestors by Hob Osterlund

Majestic Albatross of Kauai by Robert Waid

A Perfect Day for An Albatross (children's book) by Caren Loebel-Fried

Last night as I was driving to Honu Point I counted eight albatross resting in our neighbor's yards. Hopefully there will be many more to come but I am especially happy that Larry and Dora made it back home. I will let you know if there is good news in the next month!

For more of my blogs, go to the right-hand side of this page (full screen computers). For information about our luxury Kauai vacation rental, go to any other page of this website. Mahalo!

Meet The Author
My husband and I fell in love with Hawaii in the early eighties when we made our first trip from San Diego to the islands. In 2000 we chose Kauai as our home. We love the small town feel, great weather and beauty. We couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
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