‘Green Blue Red’ and ‘Yellow Blue Orange’ are currently the oldest Northern Royal Albatrosses Diomedea sanfordi on view from the observatory at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head near Dunedin, New Zealand (click here).
The paired birds have constructed their nest for the 2014/15 breeding season and are currently incubating their 10th egg, of which seven have been successful. At 27 years, they are the oldest pair of Northern Royal Albatrosses on view and have set-up their nest on the Quarry Track in exactly the same place as where they successfully raised a chick in the 2012/13 season.
The 27-year old paired birds at their nest
Their previous chick fledged with an insufficient amount of wind behind, causing it to crash land just off the coast of Taiaroa Head. A Department of Conservation ranger was luckily on hand to pick the fledgling out of the surf to safety in his boat before a more successful take-off later in the day.
Tairaoa Head was once the home of the World’s then oldest known albatross, Grandma, who reached an estimated 60 years (click here). The late Grandma has now been surpassed in the extreme age stakes by Wisdom, a well-known Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis on Midway Atoll, now breeding once more in what is thought to be her 64th year (click here).
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 17 December 2014