Watch Royals Nest in New Zealand

Northern royal albatross, New Zealand (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

1 December 2020

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.

At Taiaroa Head, the royal’s only mainland breeding location, New Zealand’s Dept of Conservation reports (DOC) that as of 30 November there are 120 birds on site and 40 pairs have laid an egg.

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.

Watch the Royal Family here at Cornell Lab’s Northern Royal Albatross birdcam. Learn more about them at DOC’s Meet the Royal Family webpage. Catch up on the latest news and videos at either website.

While it snows here in Pittsburgh, watch the royals nest in New Zealand.

(photo of northern royal albatross in flight from Wikimedia Commons, photo of LGK by Sharon Broni / DOC; click on the captions to see the originals)

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