The wait is now over for fans of a famous albatross, based at Taiaroa Head on Otago Peninsula – the chick finally has a name!
Its entire life has been streamed live from the Department of Conservation’s “Royal Cam” camera from the Northern royal albatross colony near Dunedin. It’s the only mainland breeding colony in the Southern Hemisphere.
Since the chick hatched 6 months ago the royal cam webpage has been visited more than 200-thousand times, but until recently it remained nameless. A competition has been underway with the DOC taking name suggestions – a task made trickier by the fact that the chick’s sex isn’t yet known!
The top five entries were chosen from 1672 entries but finally Tūmanako , meaning hope, was selected by public vote; the other four names were Aaran (peaked island), Laidir (strong), Maia (bravery) and Raukura (feather plume).
Tūmanako will stay at Taiaroa Head until September when he or she will fly away. The young albatross will then spend several years away feeding in South American waters. Before then you can see the internet-star in action by clicking on this link!
If you’d like to visit the region and see these magnificent birds for yourself do get in touch.