So far, 104 Royal Albatross have returned to Pukekura (Taiaroa Head) making for some fantastic viewing for people on tour – the powerful southerly winds recently have provided a real bonus with groups of albatross seen soaring overhead on a frequent basis.
The 2013/14 season was the second most successful natural breeding season ever at the Royal Albatross Centre with 24 chicks successfully fledged from a total of 26 eggs – unfortunately two nests were unsuccessful in raising their chick. Since the middle of September, staff and visitors to the Royal Albatross Centre have been watching in awe as the new season’s birds return to the headland to begin building their nests including a father and son, who have both begun building their nests within metres of each other in full view of the observatory window. So far 32 nests have been established, and while the Department of Conservation rangers live by the historic proverb “never count your chickens before they hatch”, all signs are pointing towards a very successful 2014/15 breeding season.
The Royal Albatross Centre is the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross. It is located at the end of the Otago Peninsula on the culturally significant Pukekura (Taiaroa Head) headland. It is operated by the Otago Peninsula Trust and the Department of Conservation to ensure the colony is protected for future generations to enjoy.
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