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Nigel The Lonely Gannet Dies Alone After Falling In Love With A Concrete Decoy
Nigel’s love was never reciprocated by the concrete bird, but his legacy is the colony he founded
February 4th, 2018 | 11:40 AM | 1072 views
A gannet called Nigel has died alone after he fell in love with a concrete bird.
Nigel spent three years with the decoy on Mana Island, New Zealand, trying to start a relationship with the decoy.
However, his feelings for the statue were never reciprocated and he was found dead next to the fake bird and dozens of other fake birds.
They were put there in 1976 to try and start a colony, but there was no action for the man-made impostors until 2012 when they were moved to another island.
Accompanied by solar-powered gannet calls and repainted every year by volunteers, they eventually managed to attract mates, including Nigel who arrived in 2015.
He was alone until last month when three more arrived after the noise emitted from the speakers was changed slightly.
Sadly for Nigel it was too late for him to spread his seed and now his body is being examined to find out how he died.
Ranger Chris Bell found him last week. He said: ‘This just feels like the wrong ending to the story. He died right at the beginning of something great.’
Nigel – his name was chosen because he had no friends – was supposed to bring a girlfriend with him, but instead he became besotted by one of the concrete replicas.
He even built a nest and was observed trying to woo her with mating rituals.
It is believed that he may have been kicked out of another colony and he was ‘a bit confused’, hence why he fell in love with the inanimate object.
Chris said: ‘I certainly feel sad. Having had him sit there year after year with his concrete mate, it just doesn’t seem how it should have ended.
‘It would have been nice if he had been able to hold on a few more years and found a partner and breed.’
Now it is hoped that Nigel’s new colony will prosper and breed on the island with no more love affairs with concrete statues of gannets.
Chris added: ‘His legacy was that he was the first coloniser.’
courtesy of METRO
by Richard Hartley-Parkinson
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