Summer has returned to the southern hemisphere, the northern royal albatrosses are back at Taiaroa Head, and the Royal Cam is running. It’s time to watch the royals nest in New Zealand.
Northern royal albatrosses (Diomedea sanfordi) spend most of their lives wandering the southern Pacific but are loyal to their lifelong mates and their breeding location. They faithfully return to New Zealand every other year in October/November, to lay one egg and raise the chick. The commitment required of both parents takes nearly a year to complete. Then they take the next year off.
Every year, DOC chooses a pair to follow on the Royal Cam. This year’s on-camera family is LGL (female) and LGK (male) whose fertile egg was laid on 7 November. At 12 and 11 years old, respectively, they have been together since 2017 and raised a chick named Karere two years ago.