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23 Feb 2018 1:51
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  •   Home > News > Technology

    Otago albatross colony has new celebrity

    A royal albatross chick is set to become the next internet star out of the breeding colony on Otago Peninsula as its early life is tracked by webcam.

    A new star has hatched, as the "royal cam" show at the northern royal albatross breeding colony on Otago Peninsula enters its third year.

    The fluffy chick, the sex of which is not yet known, is reported to weigh a healthy 290g and has had its important first feed from one of its parents.

    Department of Conservation threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki says the chick was born at the Taiaroa Head colony on Monday night.

    It was initially taken away for a health check and to protect it from forecast extreme heat.

    "Like many farmers in the south, we're in the unusual position of hoping for a break in the very hot summer weather Dunedin is experiencing," she said.

    DOC has again set up a webcam beside a nest in what is the only mainland albatross breeding colony in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Since streaming began in January 2016, there have been more than 2.3 million views on YouTube.

    "We could not have anticipated how much these chicks have captured people's hearts," Ms Toki said.

    "As with previous years we are now waiting to see the story of this little albatross unfold as it faces the many challenges present in its first few months."

    The first two webcam stars, Moana and Tumanako, both made it through to fledge the nest in September of 2016 and 2017 respectively.

    The new chick has the same parents as Moana.

    The egg was laid on November 7, after which the parents took turns on the nest.

    For the next five to six weeks, they now continue to take turns feeding the chick.

    The centre has 32 nests and staff are preparing for more eggs to hatch.


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