|A little sunlight and a beautiful albatross protecting her chick.|
Yesterday, after another drive to the neighborhood where the albatrosses reside, now nesting with their solitary chicks, we were relieved to see that a chick that had huddled alone against the side of a house the previous day was no longer by him/herself. Perhaps, the parent had gone off to find food while the other parent hadn’t returned from the last time out to sea. Sadly, sometimes they don’t return due to illness, injury or death or for a reason none of us will ever know.
|We saw a total of eight albatross in this yard interacting with one another as shown in today’s above video.|
If only we really knew what transpires in the lives of these curious and amazing birds. We can only learn so much by observing them. In reality, that’s the case with the animal kingdom. We can only surmise the magnitude of their lifestyles and the depth of their understanding of their significance in our world, in their world.
|Roger, our co-host on the tour on Friday explained how this particular house in the neighborhood was previously owned by Graham Nash, singer-songwriter of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. When an albatross chick is born in a homeowner’s yard they have the opportunity to name the chick. At one time, a chick was named Nash.|
|Its interesting to see how social they are with one another.|
As considerable time and expense is spent in researching animal life, scientists can only speculate as to how smart they really are. Isn’t it only recently that the intelligence of our household pets are finally being realized by science, when all along, those of us fortunate enough to have a dog, a cat or another animal in our homes, knew how smart and intuitive they were all along?
|As mentioned yesterday, its impossible to determine a male and female without a DNA test but, for some reason I think this albatross looks like a dad protecting his chick.|
Our precious dog Willie (read his website here) as he was dying of cancer, on his last day of life dragged me by his leash to the yard of each of our five neighboring homes where he proceeded to dig up the bones he’d buried near their mailboxes long ago. That very day, the end of his life, he brought the bones back to our house placing them in a pile, seemingly content with a job well done. The significance of his action baffles us yet to this day.
|This chick did a little clacking of his own when he spotted us at a good distance, always respectful of their need for privacy.|
Who are we to speculate on what they could possibly be thinking or if they are “thinking” at all or merely utilizing their instinctive skills? Then again, how dare we assume they don’t “think” when we look into their eyes and see such understanding and love?
|Cathy explained how these fluffed up feathers often indicate a chick is beneath this parent.|
And, as we wandered through the neighborhood with Cathy and Roger on Friday afternoon, admiring the lifecycle of the Laysan Albatross, a powerful sense of “they know exactly what they’re doing.” They are smart and introspective and emotional and thoughtful and most of all, loving to each other and their young. How do I know this?
|Some of the albatross appear to have a greater need for privacy tending to nest in more hidden areas.|
Walk amongst them. Watch them dance together bobbing up and down with pure joy. Watch them clean the fluffy feathers of their young with tenderness and care. Look into their black rimmed eyes filled with expression, filled with life and you too will know.
|These six albatross were taking a break from the nests for fun and “displaying” as described by Cathy, our expert guide.|
Its nothing eerie or mystical. It’s not about me or some communicative skills I possess with wildlife. I don’t. Its life. And when I held the camera in my hand leaning on the door jamb of the safari vehicle in the Masai Mara only 10 feet from a lion and our eyes met, I knew then.
|Some of the parents almost squash their chicks when sitting on them and others are more mindful of giving them room as they grow.|
God (or whatever higher power you believe or not), put us all on this earth to cohabitate together, giving us the emotional intelligence and capacity to coexist in harmony, if only we learn to respect each other’s space, each other’s needs and each other’s destiny.
|A chick safely nestled in the grass and under mom or dad’s legs.|
The Laysan Albatross come to this neighborhood (and the golf course here in Princeville) year after year, some lost at sea never to return, others returning to discover their awaiting mate (or a new mate) again and again. In essence, we can question and speculate all we want. But, the true answer only lies in the power of life placed upon this earth for all of us to love, respect and admire.
|Other albatross seem content to be out in the open clearly visible to passersby.|
And that, dear readers, we do. We admire the Laysan Albatross and again, we are humbled and grateful for the gift we’ve been given to share, even for this short time, in their world.
Photo from one year ago today, February 15, 2014:
|This Black Headed Oriole graced our yard at African Reunion House as we were often on the lookout for birds. For details from that date and a favorite shot at the end of that post, please click here.|