LONDON — The story of a lonely seabird named Nigel who tried to woo a mate that had a heart of stone and died on an uninhabited island off New Zealand has captivated many on social media.
Footage of the bird preening and cooing as he fruitlessly courted a decoy made of concrete has been watched obsessively online. Though his chosen partner kept a cold silence, Nigel, a gannet, won the affection of visitors and conservationists alike.
His solitary life shined a light on a yearslong effort by an army of conservationists, devoted volunteers and others to repopulate his species on the island.
News of the seabird’s death in late January hit the island’s caretakers and social media users hard.