June 24, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

“Our mind is a limitless sky and we can only be an albatross flying in the vast expanse to occasionally discover the joys of sublimity!”
– Avijeet Das

Every so often we get a call to assist with a large seabird. If you know your birds, you will know that “large seabird” is not referenced as a species in any birding guides. We normally have great fun to then guess which member of the very general “large seabird” group we are going to encounter. Will it be an over-weight gull, or a pecky petrel or will it be an alluring albatross?

When we received a call from the always helpful Dirk Kotze from the I&J Abalone Farm at Danger Point about an exhausted large seabird that has landed in a less than graceful way at their facility, the guess work started. Dirk did, however, change the game slightly because he knew that it was an albatross.

Wilfred Chivell, Director of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, collected the slightly dazed bird and it was admitted to the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary for treatment. The bird was obviously tired and dehydrated but otherwise in a good condition with no injuries or damage to the wings and only a slight visual impairment of the left eye.

We identified the bird as an immature albatross and as with all immature birds there is always a level of uncertainty. This led to a vigorous debate about the species. We would love all birders to be part of this conversation, so please feel free to provide us with you input. The current frontrunner is Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta), with the other name in this hat being the Indian Yellow-nosed albatross (Thalassarche carteri).

The most probably a Shy but maybe an Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross was successfully released to continue his graceful journey through the blue beyond.

We would like to thank:
Ben Jones, Conservation Director from the Dallas Zoo for joining us on the joyful journey to release the albatross back into the wild.
Dirk Kotze from the Danger Point I&J Abalone farm for their continued assistance with reporting of stranded and injured seabirds
Marine Dynamics for providing a Seabird Uber service on their boat Whale Whisper
All the APSS supporters & donors who donate to our cause. Together we can.