Albatross parents and chick

Image: Simone Jackson | ©

Introduction

Find out more about this year's royal albatross family and their predecessors.

OGK, YRK, and Atawhai at Top Flat Track, 2020

yrk-top-flat-track-390.jpg
YRK nesting at Top Flat Track

This season the live stream partnered with Cornell Bird Lab. There are some new features including a trial of night vision and the ability to pan the camera at the rangers discretion.

Female

  • YRK (yellow/red/black bands)
  • Age: 26 years
  • Hatched: 1994
  • Breeding: since 2006

Male

  • OGK (orange/green/black bands)
  • Age: 22 years
  • Hatched: 1998
  • Breeding: since 2006

Atawhai (female chick)

  • Hatched: 31 January 2020
  • Fledged 16 September 2020 at 230 days of age

Family history

This pair have been together since 2006. This is their 7th breeding attempt.

Two years earlier they raised a foster chick after the egg they laid was broken. The first chick they raised is a breeding female and the natal mother of the 2018 Royalcam chick, Amīria. Two more of their off-spring are in varying stages of mate selection.

The nest was between the observatory and Signal Station at Top Flat Track placing the Royalcam higher up the hill than previous seasons. The egg was laid on 14 November 2019.

LGK, LGL and Karere, 2019

South Plateau family.
South Plateau family (LGL sits on the chick with LGK beside)

Female

  • LGL (lime/green/lime bands)
  • Age: 11 years
  • Hatched: 2008
  • Breeding: since 2017

Chick

  • Name: Karere
  • Hatched: 24 January 2019
  • Fledged: 23 September 2019 at 243 days of age

Name pronunciation for Karere (MP4, 239K).

Male

  • LGK (lime/green/black bands)
  • Age: 10 years
  • Hatched: 2009
  • Breeding: since 2017

Family history

This pair has been together since 2017 and is their second breeding attempt following a failed egg on the first attempt. Their nest is at South Plateau directly across from the observatory towards the Signal Station. The egg was laid on 6 November and was the ninth egg out of the 51 eggs to be laid during the 2018 and 2019 season.

GO, WO and Amīria, 2018

Albatross chick Amīria
Albatross chick Amīria

March 2018 - 7 September 2018

Male: GO (green/orange bands)
Female: WO (white/orange bands)

Milestones

Family history

The parents are each other's second mates. GO's first mate was BOB (blue, orange, blue) and WO's was OBR (orange, blue, red).

GO and BOB's first surviving chick was a breech hatch and the observatory closed for 2 days to minimise disturbance as the chick was in extremely poor condition. This chick was famously named Fred (because his life was hanging on by a thread) and survived! He even fledged a chick last year so is away this season.

GO and WO's nest is about 20 m up the track from the 2016/17 webcam chick Tūmanako. They were seen nest building to the side of the camera view once Tūmanako had fledged.

The pair laid an egg at Top of Bluff Track on the 5 November 2017. Their egg died late in the incubation and they received a foster chick who had been deserted as an egg by her natal parents (GKY, male 11 yrs, and KBR, female 11 yrs). GO and WO's own egg was a late embryo death.

Albatross chick and parent
Albatross chick and parent YWK

YWK, KGY and chick

November 2017–February 2018

Male: YWK (yellow/white/black bands)
Female: KGY (black/green/yellow bands)

Milestones

Family history

BK, RBK and Tūmanako, 2017

Albatross chick Tumanoko
Albatross chick Tūmanako after "spilling"

November 2016–March 2017

Male: BK (blue/black bands)
Female: RBK (red/blue/black bands)

Milestones

Family history

During a weigh in when Tūmanako was about two months old, he got quite agitated and as a defensive behaviour he 'spilled' on himelf. Spilling is a defence mechanism where the chick ejects a smelly, sticky substance called proventriculus oil when it feels threatened. The oil is what you can see on the chick's face.

When Tūmanako was just days old he became unwell and lost weight. Tūmanako was much smaller then the other chicks who hatched at the same time. So that our rangers could closely monitor the chick, he was moved to a foster nest closer to their office. Another chick was put in his place for BK and RBK to foster. When Tūmanako recovered he swapped places with his parents foster chick. The foster chick could not be placed with it's original parents as they deserted it when the chick was still in its egg.

YWK, KGY and Moana, 2016

Albatross chick Moana
Albatross chick Moana

November 2015–March 2016

Male: YWK (yellow/white/black bands)
Female: KGY (black/green/yellow bands)

Milestones

Family history

YWK and KGY both started breeding at 8 years of age but YWK is KGY’s second mate and KGY is YWK’s third mate. YWK has fledged 3 chicks with his first two mates before breeding with KGY.

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