It is Tristan albatross hatching time on Gough Island! It would be hard for anyone to resist photographing these small, fluffy albatross, so Fabrice, Kate and Jaimie (our Gough Island team) took the opportunity to show us the first few days of a young albatross’s life through this photo blog.

But before the chicks, it all started with a courtship dance…

 

(J. Cleeland)

And for those too young to breed, hatching time is a chance to show off the moves they’ll one day use for courtship… even if no one is watching

 

(J. Cleeland)

Once the adults have settled down to nest, the team starts checking all the nests for eggs and chicks...

 

(T. McSherry)

and it wasn't long before Jaimie found a male Tristan albatross watching as his egg started to hatch!

 

(T. McSherry)

 

(K. Lawrence)

This little albatross has only been in the world for a few hours.

 

(T. McSherry)

The new born chicks are brooded by their parents, keeping them warm and guarded from danger.

(K. Lawrence)

 

(K. Lawrence)

Tristan albatross chicks grow quickly – this parent is proudly showing off their one day old chick!

(J. Cleeland)

 

(K. Lawrence)

So quickly in fact that in just 10 months’ time this little chick will have grown a 3 meter wingspan and will be ready to explore the open ocean of the South Atlantic and beyond!

 

(J. Cleeland)

But, for now, being a baby albatross is tiring…

(K. Lawrence)

...so there's just time for a quick scratch...

(K. Lawrence)

…before it’s time to snuggle up again.

 (J. Cleeland)

Welcome to your Gough Island home little Tristan albatross chicks!

 (J. Cleeland)

Sadly, these chicks are at risk from mouse predation. Not all of them will reach fledgling age and this is loss is driving Tristan albatross population numbers down every year. The planned mouse eradication operation in 2019 will remove the threat of invasive alien mice from the island, and restore Gough as a safe, secure home for albatross chicks to thrive. 

Follow the Gough Island Restoration on Facebook and Twitter to help us secure the future of Gough's Tristan albatross!

Acknowledgement

The Gough Island Restoration Programme is being carried out by the RSPB in partnership with Tristan da Cunha, BirdLife South Africa and the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa.

The programme is part-funded by the RSPB, the UK government, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other generous individuals and organisations.

If you would like to support our efforts to save the Critically Endangered Tristan albatross and Gough bunting, please contact John Kelly, or you can donate using our online form

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