|Looking up to see if her mate is coming back with dinner.|
It may be a work of art, an animal, or a stretch of beach that triggers the release of the powerful hormone that makes us feel great. For many, the triggers may be different. For us, seeing wildlife sends us both into a level of joy that is hard to describe which has only escalated these past few years as we’ve traveled the world.
|This nesting albatross was the first one we spotted, sleeping on her/his nest. Both the male and female tend to the nest.|
When our friend Richard invited us to walk with him in his neighborhood to see the many nesting Laysan Albatross in various neighbor’s yards, upon sighting the first bird, I felt as if someone shot me in the arm. An immediate smile overtook my face, my heart raced with excitement, and for some odd reason (hum…) I felt as if I was “home” (wherever that may be).
|The dark coloration around their eyes varies from bird to bird.|
For at least 30 minutes, we wandered from yard to yard, occasionally waving or talking to neighbors who were comfortable seeing us with Richard rather than tourists snooping in their yards.
|Even a hibiscus plant is a good spot to nest.|
What our eyes beheld was awe-inspiring; as many as five albatross at one time in various yards throughout the neighborhood, paying little attention to us as we made a special effort to stay far back to avoid disturbing them.
It’s important not to get too close to these seemingly friendly birds. They release a hormone when frightened which may be dangerous to them. Staying as far back as possible is imperative for their good health.
|Then, there were three…|
Luckily, our camera has an excellent ability to zoom in, making it possible for today’s video and photos. Our course, the dopamine coursing through my body, made my hands a little unsteady, so I did my best. Usually, I refer to this shakiness as excitement and enthusiasm when in essence, it is dopamine.
|Then there were four…|
As we walked from house to house, we couldn’t believe how many nesting, dancing, interacting, and sleeping albatross we spotted. If we say that we saw the exquisite birds in no less than a dozen yards, we wouldn’t be exaggerating.
|A loner, nesting close to a house.|
I wondered how residents would be able to go about their daily lives when these precious birds were living in their yards. Surely, if it was us, we’d be sitting outside on lawn chairs, at a safe distance, watching their daily interactions with the hope of eventually seeing a hatchling.
|This one reminded me of Tom, “Oh, I hate going for a walk!”|
Well, we’re the people who sat outside all day in the bush in 90 degrees, bug and snake-infested Africa waiting for the next moving creature. Of course, we’d be equally enthralled with these birds.
For Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology’s information about the Laysan Albatross including a clip of the sound of the birds, please click here.
|Flying is the Laysan Albatross’s forte, not walking which appears awkward.|
Again, we thank our friend Richard for bestowing this amazing opportunity upon us. Without his assistance and friendship, we’d never have known about these exquisite birds, only seeing them when they occasionally fly over our heads.
|It was surprising how they paid no attention to us walking by, continuing with their adorable antics.
Once again, we find reasons to be grateful for perhaps another bit of “safari luck.”
|These smaller two may have been siblings, were grooming each other.|
|Marine Conservation Biologists in Hawaii band the birds in order to maintain an accurate record of as many birds as possible.|
Tomorrow, we’ll share a wonderful story of the oldest banded Laysan Albatross. Do check back and have a great day!
Photo from one year ago today, January 27, 2014:
|Neither of us had ever seen the Sickle Bush which grows in Africa. We were fascinated by its prickly feel and look, along with its beautiful colors. For more “small things” we found in the bush, please click here.|