Perfect conditions for hatching

Lyndon Perriman may be the only one in Dunedin wishing for the cool weather to continue.

The Department of Conservation ranger is overseeing the hatching of chicks at Taiaroa Head's albatross colony where cool, windy weather has provided perfect conditions for the new arrivals.

So far, 20 chicks had hatched successfully and six more eggs were still to hatch, he said.

''Hatching this year has been quite relaxed as the weather hasn't been that great.''

Last year, the warm, sunny weather resulted in a quarter of the chicks being affected by fly strike, the biggest threat to new chicks which required intensive hands-on care to save them, Mr Perriman said.

The cooler weather had made the past week less stressful for staff keeping a close on the chicks for fly strike.

''It was a big weekend with a bundle popping out. If we'd had a hot day coinciding with that we may not be talking about this number of chicks.

''We're not complaining about the weather. If we get another week of scungy weather that's fine.''

One chick had died so far this season after an inexperienced parent stood on it, crushing it.

Next month, the threats would come from predators and then there was the risk of a parent being lost, which required staff to hand feed chicks.

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