Story: Seabirds – overview

Southern royal albatross foraging route

Southern royal albatross foraging route

Some seabirds travel great distances from their nests in search of food. This is the track taken by a southern royal albatross (given the name Princess Anne) from her nest on Campbell Island to the Chatham Rise. Information about her movements was supplied by a tiny satellite transmitter and a recorder fitted to her body. She travelled for almost 16 days, while her mate took his turn sitting on the egg. She covered the first 900 kilometres in 24 hours – an average rate of 37.5 kilometres per hour. Her furthest point from the colony was 1,200 kilometres, but she flew a total of 6,000. Just over half of her time was spent in flight; she sat on the water for the remainder.

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Base map courtesy of GNS Science; Data: C. Troup, ‘Foraging strategies of southern royal albatrosses.’ M.Appl.Sc thesis, Lincoln University, 2004

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Seabirds – overview - Foraging and migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 August 2022)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015