Dunedin’s royal family welcomes a new member

The arrival of a new chick means the wait is over for fans of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) "nest cam" – a live streaming video broadcast from Dunedin’s Royal Albatross Centre.

For the second year running DOC has set up a web cam beside a nest in the only mainland albatross breeding colony in the Southern Hemisphere.

Last year Moana the albatross chick became an instant star, attracting more than 600,000 YouTube views and fans worldwide who watched her develop during the fledging period.

This year’s egg was laid on 12 November 2016 and since then the parents (known as BK and RBK) have been taking turns on the nest.

Now the chick (yet to be named) has hatched, they will take turns feeding it before leaving it unguarded until it flies the nest at about eight months old.

"We are thrilled by the response of viewers from New Zealand and around the world to our albatross chick,” says DOC’s Threatened Species Ambassador Nicola Toki.

 “We’ve all got our fingers crossed, as this little bird faces a whole raft of challenges in its first months. These include extremes of weather, reliance on both parents to provide enough food to get through winter, as well as threats from stoats and other pests,” says Ms Toki.

Dunedin’s Royal Albatross Centre is a fantastic place for your clients to see these majestic birds in the wild.

Guided tours offer an insight into the breeding colony and visitors have the chance to be awed by the soaring three metre wingspan of the birds flying above.

The Otago Peninsula is also home to the Korora, or Little Blue Penguin, the world’s smallest penguin. Visitors can join a guided tour to the beach and watch from a raised viewing platform.

All money raised goes to wildlife and habitat conservation.

For more info and to make bookings, www.albatross.org.nz and check out the nestcam here.

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