We are happy to announce the new nesting site for the 2022–23 Northern Royal Albatross cam season! Male GLY (named for his colored leg bands: Green/Lime/Yellow) and female L (Lime) will be featured this season at the South Plateau nesting site located within the Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve on New Zealand’s South Island. Their single egg was laid on November 4, and the parents have been switching off incubation duties ever since!
This is the pair’s third breeding attempt, and they have successfully raised one male (2019) and one female chick (2021) since they began breeding in 2019. L returned to the headland in 2014, and GLY followed in 2015. They were both non-breeders looking for mates from 2016 to 2018.
Both parents contribute evenly to incubation duties, switching between bouts on the egg and foraging at sea. After a few changeovers, you’ll see the parents extend their foraging trips. Once the albatross start taking longer trips, they’re usually at sea for 7–14 days but can be longer.
The incubation period of the Northern Royal Albatross lasts around 11 weeks and is one of the longest of any bird species. During this time, rangers from the New Zealand Department of Conservation will conduct regular nest checks to inspect the egg and monitor the embryo’s growth in preparation for the chick’s arrival in late January.
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