New Zealand face planter albatross becomes world famous
A royal albatross gained dubious world fame after it was filmed landing prone after an inelegant landing on the Otago Peninsula.
Part of a livestream hosted by the Department of Conservation and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the clip shows the bird approaching land at high speed, hitting the ground first, and doing a roly-poly before passing a few seconds on the back with his legs waving in the air.
Back on its feet, the bird takes a few seconds more to pull itself together before disappearing out of sight. The entire incident, the clip shows, was seen by an albatross chick, which the disgraced adult bird does not recognize.
A legend in the video shared on twitter, which has logged more than 290,000 views, says flying is easy enough for the Royal Albatross, but “landing can be a bit more difficult”.
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“#RoyalCam chick had a front row seat for a “how not to land” lesson. Luckily for the tumble alby the recovery was quick and only the chick was watching !! ”
The Royal Cam films the breeding season of royal albatrosses in the Pukekura / Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve on the Otago Peninsula.
This season, the camera is on a couple known as LGK and LGL and their fluffy chick, who hatched on January 24, 2021. They are called “the royal family”.
The world’s largest seabird with a wingspan of over three meters, the Northern Royal Albatross is generally “a graceful giant,” according to the DOC.
Hoani Langsbury, in charge of tourism for the reserve, Told The Guardian that forced landings are common among young albatrosses, but the 11-12 year old adult in the clip had plenty of time to get it right.
That said, albatross landings are essentially a form of “controlled crush”, with the bird flying lower and lower around its intended landing point before spreading its wings “like a parachute” and falling from it. heaven, Langsbury said.
He speculated that the bird in the clip was caught by a sudden change in wind.
Miners who crash land often feel embarrassed because they fear potential mates have seen it, Langsbury said. The bird in the clip, however, is old enough not to have been disturbed. Royal albatrosses are among the oldest birds in the world, regularly living in their forties, so the bird in question is a relative spring chick.
The Northern Royal Albatross is endemic to New Zealand and threatened due to climate and habitat change, heat stress and “fly strikes”. The latter refers to flies laying eggs on albatross eggs during the hatching phase, which can take six days. The adults who care for the eggs get up to cool down if they get too hot, giving the flies an opportunity to do their mess.
“Any live fly egg or maggot laid in the egg during this time will often result in the death of a chick,” the DOC explains.
King albatrosses spend most of their time at sea and only return ashore to breed and raise their young – about one chick every two years.