Big news from Down Under! The Cornell Lab has teamed up with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) to bring the new Northern Royal Albatross cam to Bird Cams. This new partnership spans further than the Pacific; it will also increase the viewership of the DOC’s wildly popular cam, known since 2016 as the RoyalCam, and give millions more people the chance to get to know the world’s largest seabird.
Who’s On Cam
The 2019/2020 cam season will share the lives of a single nesting pair as they work to raise their chick from a coastal breeding colony in the Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve located on the Otago Peninsula of New Zealand’s South Island. Here, 21-year-old male OGK (banded Orange, Green, Black) and 25-year-old female YRK (banded Yellow, Red, Black) are tag teaming incubation duties for a single egg that was laid on November 14. Hatching is expected near the latter half of January, with a lengthy nestling period (8-9 months) to follow. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the windswept bluffs of Taiaroa Head as you watch this family grow together. Review information about past breeding seasons.
When To Watch
For those living in North America, New Zealand is literally a world away. At noon EST, our feathered friends in New Zealand will be waking up to tomorrow’s sunrise at 6:00 AM NZDT, so keep in mind the time when you’re planning on tuning in to watch this “royal family”. Feel free to check in when the sun goes down, too, as the cam is fully equipped with infrared night vision. Check out highlights from the Royal Albatross cam.
A Focus On Conservation
Northern Royal Albatross are endemic to New Zealand. They are currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN and are vulnerable to many threats, including habitat loss, increasing temperatures (summer ground temperatures can reach more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit), and fly infestations of eggs or hatching chicks. The DOC leads a multifaceted conservation effort to help increase the breeding success of the nesting albatross at Taiaroa Head, so don’t be alarmed if you see people on cam near the birds; these are trained DOC biologists conducting routine health checks on the egg and birds on site. Learn more about Northern Royal Albatross conservation efforts.
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