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Albatross Nesting Season 2023

November 2022

Our first arrivals are here!!

Early Saturday morning there were two, then three, by mid-week seven and as of today 14. 

Who are these majestic sea birds? They are the Laysan albatross. The adult male birds almost always arrive first and patiently await the arrival of their female mate. 

She may keep him waiting a day, a week, or even two weeks before she arrives. But when she does her mate is ecstatic. On his feet squealing and bobbing up and down in delight at just the sight of her gliding overhead and finally coming in for landing. Before her webbed feet have touched the ground he is waddling at sprinting speed in her direction! This is the first time they've seen each other in months, since the closure of last nesting season.

laysan albatross

This handsome albatross was our first arrival for the 2023 season. He patiently awaits the arrival of his mate who he has not seen for several months.

A Preview of what's to come this season

November through February 

Early November the adult birds return solo to their nesting grounds. They await their mate and reconnect. We've seen eggs as early as Thanksgiving but typically it's the month of December when each mating pair will lay their one egg for the season.

Average incubation period is 60 days so by very late January and through February the chicks will hatch. Absolute cuteness!

January is also when the juvenile birds (3 to 7 year olds) return for "party season". They sing, dance, start to court and observe the raising of the chicks. You can bet Lola will get amazing videos of their dance offs, no other bird species is this groovy!

laysan albatross nesting

Albatross pair with their newly hatched chick (last season)

March through July

These 5 months put Mom and Dad to the test. 3000 mile round trip flights for fresh North Pacific squid. All this work just to feed their growing chick. 

March kicks off our annual Name That Chick Contest! Keep an eye out for the contest announcement. 

By July the chicks are fully grown and fledge to their new home, the vast North Pacific Ocean. The chicks will spend the next 3 to 5 years living life at sea. They will not touch land and live in the open ocean before returning to Kauai one Spring as a young juvenile. 

We are so EXCITED to share this albatross season with you! 

December 2022

We have had an exciting few weeks in the colony. Multiple birds have been arriving daily and reuniting with their mates. We are thrilled to report that we already have 25 nests! This means 25 mating pairs (50 birds) have reunited and laid their one egg for the season. We have veteran nesters, first-time nesters and birds that have been widowed who have after many seasons finally found love in a new mate.

albatross nesting pair

Remember our handsome first arrival? He now stands proudly next to his mate on their nest.

Once a pair reunites they preen each other, snuggle and mate before both taking flight out to sea once again where they will feed. The female will return first, build a nest and lay their egg. She will then incubate the egg until her mate returns. His feeding trip is critical, he will need to gorge on enough squid in order to sustain himself for nest duty. Once he returns and takes his place on the nest his mate will depart for sea to feed and replenish her body. Her feeding trip may last for over a month! Her mate will survive by fasting off the squid in his belly and hydrating from passing rain showers. Truly astonishing!

Stay tuned as we have a very special day coming next week- egg adoption day. All the details coming soon! 

What are you most excited to see or hear about this nesting season? Let us know in the comments below.

5 Comments

Sue Gray

I love these birds.

Robert Hogan

I really enjoy hearing about the successful hatching season! And, great photos of the new chicks ! What a fabulous sanctuary you protect for this magnificent birds! Thanks for your wonderful products ! And,positve outlook you project! Thanks Rob

Sharon Haller

I’m excited to hear everything. I’ve heard about these babies but never knew anything about them

Micheal Rinaker

Thanks for your delightful article & caring for these wonderful birds.

Louise Haydon

WHOOOOO-HOOOO have been waiting for this news and looking forward to the next few months watching all the goings on, on the cliff,,, Mahalo Lola
love from cold KY.

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November 2022 Our first arrivals are here!! Early Saturday morning there were two, then three, by mid-week seven and as of today 14.  Who are these majestic sea birds? They are...

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