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Male Royal Albatross Returns After Month-Long Hiatus, But Is Injured

After more than 4 weeks, OGK, the father of the Northern Royal Albatross chick, has returned to the nest site to feed his chick. According to rangers from the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC), he unfortunately appears to have an injured leg, and we can see from the cam footage that the bird had issues with mobility.

The DOC remains concerned for the wellbeing of OGK, and rangers continue to monitor the colony remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of concern for the male’s injury, a ranger was approved to visit the colony to ensure the safety of OGK after he was spotted on cam. The ranger searched the headland, but it appears OGK has flown out to sea again. It’s a good sign that he was able to feed his chick and place some weight on his injured leg and take off.

We all hope that OGK’s injury is superficial and that he can recover from this. According to the DOC, it is not unheard of for leg injuries to mend naturally on their own. We have no way of knowing what might have caused the injury while the bird was out over the ocean, but the fact that OGK returned, fed his chick, and flew away from the colony are positive developments. DOC rangers and RoyalCam viewers will continue to monitor the site for OGK’s return, and we hope for the best for a full recovery.

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Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library