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Royal Albatross Chick Gets Ready For Lift Off

Watch Manaaki and his neighbors open their wings wide on a beautiful day in New Zealand.

Manaaki will be fledging soon! The star chick from the 2023 Northern Royal Albatross Cam has been feeling the wind beneath his wings during hover practice in recent days. He is preparing to leave New Zealand and hit the open ocean for the first time in September. Watch live.

Tools For Take-off: Manaaki has come a long way since he hatched in February. Aside from gaining his flight feathers, the lumbering chick now weighs more than 20 pounds and has a wingspan that measures about 10 feet! He’s been hard at work building up his flight muscles by holding his giant wings against the strong winds that blow across the Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve. Soon, these wings will be put to the test at sea.

What’s To Come: Over the next few weeks, Manaaki will be exploring new parts of the headland, meeting his neighbors, and searching for an ideal spot to fledge. Once he flies, a Global Location Sensor attached to his leg band will track his position while at sea so scientists can learn more about the movements of juvenile albatross (learn more about how data from these sensors may impact albatross conservation). 

Watch this informational highlight reel to learn what to expect on cam during the fledging period and beyond. Follow daily updates on the cam’s X (formerly Twitter) account @RoyAlbatrossCam.

Bird Cams is a free resource

providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library