The first albatross to return for the summer breeding
season has arrived at Taiaroa Head.
White/black/blue, a female, aged about 10, flew in about 2pm
Department of Conservation ranger Lyndon Perriman said the
bird first returned to the colony in 2008 and also returned
last season but had not yet bred.
Given its age, it was likely it would breed this season.
This year, the first returning albatross arrived before any
of the chicks from last summer had fledged, he said.
They were expected to leave the colony in the next few
weeks. Colony staff were still feeding a few chicks whose
parents had not returned to feed them.
''It's been a tough season but it's nice to see the birds
The warm winter had increased the survival chances of a chick
that had needed hand-feeding since April, he said.
It was hoped the traditional ringing of church bells to
herald the albatross' arrival would continue this year.
Dunedin City Council events manager Marilyn Anderson said
First Church generously offered to do it for free last year
and she hoped it could be done again this week.