Glad you got to see Al. Its a treat! And I say it, because we still dont
know if it is really Al or Alice! I have been working on getting a feather
to send to my friend Lindsay who studies the genetics of Laysan Albatrosses.
She said she would let us know.
As for Al as a breeder, it probably isnt a breeder. Al shows up at Point
Arena at the beginning of the breeding season for Laysan Albatrosses and
leaves when the birds are done breeding. Al is somehow mixed up.
We have discussed putting a band on Al, but that really wouldnt tell us
much. Since it is not present at any breeding colony during the nesting
season, no one would see it. And even if it made a short stop at a colony,
the chances of being seen by a biologist are very slim. When one and ½
million (yes million!) albatrosses nest on Midway, the chances of finding a
banded bird are pretty slim, unless it shows up in a regularly checked spot.
The best answer for your question would be to put a data logger on Al. This
is a device that keeps track of time and when it gets light and when it gets
dark. Since we could measure sunrise and sunset, we could determine
longitude and latitude with some accuracy. This would give us a good idea
where Al goes during the summer. My guess is that it goes up north to the
Gulf of Alaska where most of the Laysans spend their summer. But who knows?
To use this data logger, we would have to put it on Als leg, and then
recapture Al a year from now and retrieve the device and download the data.
Capturing Al might not be the most acceptable thing to many of Als
followers as you have suggested.
Ron LeValley in Hawaii about to go to Midway to band some albatrosses!
Behalf Of Joleen
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:02 PM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Inquiry about Al by a Southern Audubon Member
My wife and I finally got to see Al the other day at Pt. Arena, and watched
him have a very interesting and friendly interaction with a local surfer
coming back in from riding waves. Seeing this made me wonder what - if
anything - is known about Al's breeding history.
Does anyone know exactly where Al goes when he heads off in the spring and
whether he has been successfully mating and breeding anywhere?
Has there ever been any discussion of putting a leg ring on Al/Alice? As the
LaAl colonies in Hawaii are monitored with some diligence, it would probably
be seen and reported.
Of course, such an action might be resented as an invasion of privacy and
personal space by Al/Alice, who is an exceptionally friendly and trusting
Santa Monica Bay Audubon
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