(Mirror Daily, United States) – A lonely gannet in New Zealand that bird lovers affectionately named Nigel was found dead beside a concrete replica bird he had been courting for years.
The bird lived on an inhabited island populated by a colony of fake concrete gannets for about five years. The bird replicas were designed to lure in more gannets to Mana Island, but Nigel was the only real bird to live and die on the cliffs of the desert island. Nigel’s body was found last week.
This just feels like the wrong ending to the story,
conservationist Chris Bell said.
The news was deemed “incredibly sad” by other bird lovers. The lonely bird’s body was found near one of the 80 concrete bird replicas scattered across the island. Nigel falsely believed that the bird was real and even courted it.
RIP ‘No Mates’ Nigel
Volunteers at the Friends of Mana Island group said they saw Nigel carefully build a nest for its mate on the cliff edge in 2013. On Thursday, following the announcement of the bird’s death, Friends of Mana Island wrote on Facebook that the lonely gannet “won the hearts” of all its volunteers and visitors.
The group even cropped a poem in the memory of the stoic bird called “RIP ‘no mates’ Nigel”. The group said that fortunately three other birds landed on the island around Christmas.
The poem says that despite conservationists’ best efforts (“We weeded, we painted, we sprayed guano around”), Nigel failed to find “the real thing”. Bell believes that the dead bird’s unconsummated love affair may not have been in vain, as three other gannets made it to the island.
It is unclear if the bird ever felt lonely, but the fact that it never got loved back must have been an awkward experience even by birds’ standards, Bell noted. He added that people have empathy for Nigel because he was involved in a hopeless situation from the very beginning.
Image Source: Pxhere
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