Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Prion Island, S. Georgia

    Our final stop at S. Georgia was Prion Island, which is heavily regulated, so we broke into small groups.  A boardwalk has been constructed so that people don't destroy the habitat, which is probably a good thing.  This is an island where wandering albatross and other birds have nests.  The wandering albatross is one of the world's biggest birds.  Supposedly they breed every other year, but not until they are 11 to 13 years of age, and only 30% of chicks survive.  You have to go to a very remote place indeed to see a nest, so even though I am not a birder, it was an interesting experience.
     The chick, although mostly fledged, still had some white downy fuzz.  Sitting alone on a blustery cliff, waiting for its parents to return with food, the chick was already bigger than mature giant petrels curled up nearby.
 The chick spent a good deal of time stretching out his or her wings in the wind, but never leaving the ground - or the nest.

Pretty incredible nest location, protected from predators
     Here's a small video of the chick stretching its wings in the wind, probably just a few days from attempting his or her first flight.  I hope this chick made it and is flying somewhere right now.

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