Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

A one-eyed Laysan Albatross is looking for a mate on Kauai for the third year

An adult Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis blind in its left eye has been seen in the north-east of Kauai, one of the USA’s Hawaiian Islands, for the last two breeding seasons.  The bird has been observed courting on a private property but had not as yet commenced breeding (click here).

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One eye good enough? The courting bird on the right is half blind, photographs by Hob Osterlund

It has now returned to the island for the third year in a row.  The bird was seen to be engaging in brief courtship activities and calling to birds flying by.  It will be interesting to see if it is successful in attracting a partner this time.  It is thought that the blindness, and a minor cossed bill, could have been caused by avian pox contracted from mosquitoes when the albatross was a young chick – which would mean it had survived for several years with only one good eye before becoming a prospecting adult.

With thanks to Hob Osterlund for information and the photographs.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 19 March 2015

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