Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Record breeding season for Northern Royal Albatrosses at New Zealand’s Taiaroa Head

 Tiaki 12 September 2021 Sharyn Broni
The Royal Cam chick Tiaki in September 2021, a few weeks before fledging; photograph by Sharyn Broni

The 2020/21 breeding season of globally Endangered and nationally Naturally Uncommon Northern Royal Albatrosses Diomedea sanfordi in the mainland colony at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head on New Zealand’s South Island has been a record one with 30 chicks now having fledged.  The last chick took flight on 03 October 2021; the first having left around 6 September.  A total of 41 eggs (the second highest number of eggs recorded) had been laid of which 36 hatched, giving a hatching success of 87.8% (click here), and an overall breeding success of 73.2%.

Tiaki wingspread
Tiaki spreads her wings, exposing the back-mounted satellite tracker; Royal Cam photograph

The second-last chick to fledge was the one that has been under observation by the live-streaming ‘Royal Cam’.  Named Tiaki, the female bird has been fitted with a GPS satellite tracker, the first chick to be tracked from the colony.   Those interested can follow her at-sea movements here.

Information from Sharyn Broni, the Royal Albatross Centre Facebook Page and from previous posts to ACAP Latest News.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 05 October 2021