Best season yet. Taiaroa Head’s Northern Royal Albatross colony fledges 33 chicks

Manaaki 27 August 2023 Sharyn Broni
One of the 33: Manaaki, the 2022/23 Royal Cam chick, photograph by Sharyn Broni, Department of Conservation

All 33 chicks raised this season in New Zealand’s mainland colony of globally Endangered and Nationally Vulnerable Northern Royal Albatrosses Diomedea sanfordi at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head have now fledged from the headland and have begun life at sea for the next few years. All 33 chicks were uniquely colour banded.

One of the chicks to fledge was Manaaki, the 2022/23 Royal Cam chick; a male which received its bands on World Albatross Day on 19 June. Previously, the highest number of chicks fledging was from the 2020/2021 season with 30 chicks.  Watch a video of a 2022/23 chick close to fledging by  Laura Findlay here.

Fledgling leaves
Chocks away! A 2022/23 chick is about to fledge from Taiaroa Head

Meanwhile, birds of the new 2023/24 season have started arriving in the colony; eggs will be laid over November/December.  The Northern Royal Albatross is a biennially breeding species, as are all six great albatross species in the genus Diomedea, with essentially two cohorts breeding in alternate years.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 05 October 2023

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674