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A glimpse of what the albatross chicks are up to during August at the Royal Albatross Centre, Dunedin.
The chicks currently weigh between 8 – 12kg, not far away until they take their first flight next month. They have been given their coloured identification bands that allow the Department of Conservation rangers identify the birds by the year they were born – they will be uniquely re-banded when they return in a few years time as adolescents. On return, they will begin the courtship process before settling down with a mate.
The Royal Albatross Centre has 24 nests in the colony each featuring one chick. The chicks now weigh as much as their parents (maybe even more) and they are due to take their first steps off the Taiaroa Headland in the next month or two. The majority of the chicks weigh between 8-12kgs; they’ll need to lose a bit of weight in time for their imminent take off.
The 2013/14 breeding season has been the Royal Albatross Centre’s second most successful natural breeding season ever! We are looking forward to similar results next year. There has been well over 100 albatross seen flying around the headland recently and all of the current nests are fit, healthy and ready to take the leap of faith off Taiaroa Head to begin their life at sea.
Stewart Island shags are slowly making their way back to their nesting colony to start courting and nest building for the up-coming breeding season.