28 Sep 2017

Fledged albatross farewells the mainland

5:40 pm on 28 September 2017

A fledgling albatross and webcam star has left the nest and flown off to start a new chapter at sea.

Albatros chick being checked on by DOC

An albatross chick being checked by DOC. Photo: supplied

Tūmanako, the northern royal albatross/toroa and star of the Department of Conservation 'Royal Cam' has left Pukekura/Taiaroa Head near Dunedin, to start a new life at sea.

There are now just two chicks remaining at the colony. Tūmanako, believed to be male, was named in July after a public vote.

Watch highlights from Tūmanako's life so far:

Department of Conservation threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki said it would be between four and 10 years before the bird returned, hopefully to raise a chick.

"Threats he may face include natural predators such as orca and sharks, plastic pollution, certain fishing practices and changes in habitat and climate.

"However, from rocky beginnings, this chick has developed well, weighs a healthy 9.5kg and ... has been given the best possible start in life to enable a safe return to these shores."

Otago Peninsula Trust Taiaroa Head manager of operations Hoani Langsbury said a total of 23 chicks were raised successfully at the colony, which was cut off for a time by wild winter weather in July.

"We'll miss them," he said.

The webcam has been running for two years, streaming live from a nest in the colony perched above the Otago Peninsula. The live stream will continue to run.

Northern albatross have a wingspan of more than three metres and are classed as an at-risk species.

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