11 Sep 2009

First albatross of season spotted

7:29 pm on 11 September 2009

The first Northern Royal Albatross to return to Taiaroa Head in Dunedin for the breeding season flew in on Friday.

The bells of Dunedin churches and Otakou Marae will ring at 3pm on Saturday to mark the occasion.

Up to 25 nests are expected this year on the headland at the only mainland breeding colony for albatrosses in the southern hemisphere. The first eggs should be laid in November.

Head ranger Lyndon Perriman says the first albatross is an eight-year-old female who has yet to breed.

Mr Perriman says the bird was spotted earlier this year with a male suitor and expects they will attempt to breed this season.