Southern royal albatrosses are the largest albatrosses, with males weighing on average 10.3 kilograms and females 7.7 kilograms. Their wings are black and white, and their body is all white. Their upper bill has a distinctive black line along the cutting edge. Most breed on Campbell Island, on tussock slopes above the scrub line. Sheep and cattle roamed amongst their nests when the island was farmed, but stock has since been removed. Now, apart from skuas, the main disturbance is from New Zealand sea lions, which climb all over the island. Recently, sea lions have been observed preying on nesting royal albatrosses – this may be a new phenomenon.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Don Merton
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