modern love

Hoping to establish a breeding colony of gannets on the island of Mana, New Zealand conservation officers set out concrete decoys and played bird calls. One gannet responded; the scientists called him Nigel. A few weeks before he died, three other gannets arrived on Mana.

Nigel lived for years on his own on uninhabited Mana Island off the north of the country, surrounded by concrete replica gannets ... 
Nigel was the first gannet in 40 years to make his home on Mana, arriving alone in 2013 ... After he arrived, [Nigel] began courting one of the 80 concrete decoys which had been positioned on the eastern cliffs, with painted yellow beaks and black tipped wings.

The gannet was observed carefully constructing a nest for his chosen mate, grooming her chilly, concrete feathers, and chatting to her – one-sided – year after year after year.

Eleanor Ainge Roy, 'Nigel the lonely gannet dies as he lived, surrounded by concrete birds.' The Guardian, 2/1/2018.

In the absence of a living love interest, Nigel became enamored with one of the 80 faux birds. He built her — it? — a nest ... He died next to her in that unrequited love nest, the vibrant orange-yellow plumage of his head contrasting, as ever, with the weathered, lemony paint of hers.

Karen Brulliard, 'Nigel, the world's loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved.' The Washington Post, 2/2/2018.

We're only making plans for Nigel
We only want what's best for him
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand 
And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy ...

Colin Moulding/XTC.