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Inquiry about Al by a Southern Audubon Member

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  • Joleen
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2012
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      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 bird.

      Chuck Almdale
      Santa Monica Bay Audubon
    • Ron LeValley
      Glad you got to see Al. It’s a treat! And I say “it”, because we still don’t know if “it” is really Al or Alice! I have been working on getting a
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1, 2012
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        Glad you got to see Al. It’s a treat! And I say “it”, because we still don’t
        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 isn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 Al’s 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 Al’s
        followers as you have suggested.



        Best,

        Ron LeValley in Hawaii about to go to Midway to band some albatrosses!



        From: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Joleen
        Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:02 PM
        To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
        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
        bird.

        Chuck Almdale
        Santa Monica Bay Audubon





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Robert Keiffer
        Nothing is known about the other life-habits of this bird. At this point in time we do not even know what sex the bird is, where is goes to forage, or where
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 2, 2012
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          Nothing is known about the other life-habits of this bird. At this point in time we do not even know what sex the bird is, where is goes to forage, or where it goes to nest, or even if it does pair up and nest at all. It is not banded or marked in any other manner .... so there is no way to track this individual once it leaves the safe harbor of the cove. If we could get one single feather from this bird we could at least sex it.

          Any banding attempt would require a certified bander, Federal and State permits, and probably an accepted protocol.

          Good questions however! Good birding. Bob Keiffer

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joleen
          Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:02 PM
          To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
          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 bird.

          Chuck Almdale
          Santa Monica Bay Audubon




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