Taiaroa Head, at the end of the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island is one of the very few places in the World where the general public can view breeding albatrosses without the need of joining a sea-going expedition. Globally Endangered Northern Royal Albatrosses Diomedea sanfordi have bred at Taiaroa Head, now a nature reserve, since 1938 and it is has become a major tourist attraction. Over the years the population has increased, with 24 chicks successfully fledging last season out of 26 eggs laid (click here).
A Northern Royal Albatross guards its downy chick at Taiaroa Head, photograph by Lyndon Perriman
The birds are now returning for the new 2014/15 breeding season. Since the end of September 104 individuals have been spotted and so far 32 nest sites with eggs established, eight more than the previous season, but less than the 36 eggs laid over 2012/13 (click here).
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 01 December 2014