First albatross chick of season welcomed

An albatross nurses the first chick hatched at Taiaroa Head this season. PHOTO: DOC
An albatross nurses the first chick hatched at Taiaroa Head this season. PHOTO: DOC
The first albatross chick hatched at Taiaroa Head this season will grow up in the international eye.

The new chick was welcomed into the Dunedin colony yesterday and, as is tradition, a flag flew from the Dunedin City Council’s mayoral flagpole in celebration.

Department of Conservation ranger Sharyn Broni said it was the busiest time of year for rangers at the site.

"While the rest of New Zealand is hoping for warmer weather and sunshine, we are hoping for the cool, breezy weather to continue to help with successful hatching.

"Albatross chicks are very vulnerable to hot weather, especially in their first few days.”

Royal Albatross Centre marketing manager Sophie Barker said the centre had introduced a new tradition.

"We’re donating a lifetime membership to the Otago Peninsula Trust for the first baby born on the day the first albatross hatches for the season.

"It’s particularly appropriate as 2020 is the Year of the Seabird, and the albatross is definitely the monarch of the seabird kingdom.”

 

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