Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

A White-capped Albatross makes an unscheduled landing at Wellington International Airport

Following an overnight storm on 20 June, a downed White-capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi was found at New Zealand’s Wellington International Airport.  “At commencement of the first light inspection after last nights storm, airport operations staff discovered an adult albatross in distress on the runway.”

The bird was collected and taken to the animal hospital The Nest Te Kōhanga at Wellington Zoo where it joined other albatrosses under care from the storm.  On Friday [28 June] we drove to Makara beach and released two of the [five] White-Capped Mollymawks that were brought to us after the storm (including our friend from Wellington International Airport).  They were in no rush to fly away, however, preferring to relax, check out the view and preen their feathers (very important for water-proofing).”

Above photogaphs of the bird's capture, care and release courtesy of Wellngton International Airport and Wellington Zoo.  More photos of the bird’s capture, care and release may be seen on the Facebook pages of the airport and zoo.

This is not the first time Wellington Zoo has cared for a White-capped Albatross.  “We also admitted a white-capped mollymawk yesterday [on 8 March 2012], probably exhausted from the recent storms as it is severely dehydrated and anaemic. It has been receiving intravenous fluids and lots of fish slurry to help build its strength up.  We took some radiographs today to make sure there are no other problems such as fractures or ingested fish hooks.” (click here).  The hospital has also cared for a giant petrel and shearwaters.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 18 July 2013