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Ode To Nigel No Mates

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Friends of Mana Island Nigel (pictured with two replica birds) won the hearts of visitors to the island


By E V Starkey

On the coast of Mana Island,

Where the surfers fear to go,

In a cliff above the sea,

Lived a bird who had a beau.

On this isle of decoy gannets,

One quiet beauty caught his eye.

She was the one, this lovely bird,

Her strong grey beak raised to the sky.

Faithfully, he served her,

Plucked white plumage from his chest,

Gathered seaweed and slim twigs to

Build his love the finest nest.

Five long years he loved her so,

Fed her beaks of water cress,

Groomed her stiff white feathers,

Sang her songs of tenderness.

Five long years he loved her so,

Never once complaining why,

She refused to make a sound,

Kept her eye fixed to the sky.

Then one day came three young birds,

Noisy, smelly, beady eyed.

Come! they sang, come join our flock!

Buzz off! he cried, don’t scare my bride.

All those years that he stood by her,

She could never love him so.

‘Tis fact: she was made of stone,

Sad, it was he did not know.

Old at last his body fading,

Laid to rest his feathered head,

Died beside his one true love,

Stony eye fixed on their bed.

Solid as a rock she perched,

On that ledge above the sea,

Where no visitors dare to go,

Cold as stone, as cold can be.

RIP Nigel No Mates

*Source of original story about Nigel NoMates:

Photo credit: Friends of Mana Island

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