Nigel – The loneliest seabird in the world dies in Mana Island
New Zealand wildlife lovers are mourning the death of a gannet named Nigel, also known as “the loneliest seabird in the world“.
the seabird also was known as “no-mates Nigel”, has spent almost 5 years living among a colony of fake concrete birds set up by conservationists in a bid to attract more seabirds in mana island wildlife century.
The Nigel fell in love with one of the fake seabirds on Mana Island, off the Wellington coast, and was seen preening, nesting and even trying to mate with it.
“Nigel chose to live on Mana, and we know he was happy there because he could have left anytime and didn’t,” Department of Conservation ranger Chris Bell said Wednesday (Feb 10).
“In the absence of real gannets, he really made the most of it and he found a bird he particularly liked… and he built a nest beside her, under her nose, and he began to woo her,” Bell said.
It was by her side that Nigel’s body was discovered.
“I always found a particular tragedy in it, in that he really got nothing back,” Bell said.
“His mate didn’t reject him. She didn’t accept him. She just sat there.”
She has no interest in real seabirds
But it appears Nigel remained true to his concrete lover by choice rather than circumstance.
In December last year, before Nigel died, the conservationists doubled up their efforts to attract more seabirds & gannets to the island, repainting the replicas and moving the loudspeakers closer to the sea so that more seabirds get attracted towards Mana Island
And Within 10 days, three new gannets arrived and set up their nest on a different part of the island.
“Nigel – the Loneliest seabird in the world” never acknowledged them. He always stayed up on top with his concrete mates and gave them no attention whatsoever,” Bell said.
Nigel has successfully set an example for every one of us, She was in love, true love and we hope more & more seabirds visit and breed in Mana Island.
Her Death is ‘Not just sad, but really annoying’
A few weeks later, Nigel died.
“Going up there and finding Nigel dead was not just sad, but really annoying because it just seemed to be the ending of an era,” Bell said.
“After years of being there in the colony by himself, this seemed to be the moment that Nigel should have the chance to have a real mate and to breed.”
Still, Bell said the lonely seabird’s gift to Mana Island will never be forgotten.
“He may have not have acknowledged them, but I think when those birds arrived in the colony and saw these concrete gannets they also saw Nigel,” Bell said.
“He helped to convince them that this was a bona fide place for all breeds of Seabirds to stop and consider it as a perfect breeding ground.”
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Also published on Medium.