The hatching of the first chick of the breeding season at the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head yesterday was a ''very special'' moment.
Otago Peninsula Trust marketing manager Sophie Barker said the chick's arrival was a ''wonderful relief''.
''It's a very special moment for everybody who loves albatrosses,'' she added.
It would now be interesting to see how many more chicks would hatch from 32 nests dotted round the nature reserve, before mid to late next month, in the 2017-18 breeding season.
It was a ''miracle'' Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula, was home to the only mainland northern royal albatross colony in the world, Barker said. Yesterday's first chick showed the miracle was continuing.
Trust chief executive officer Robyn McDonald said the season's first chick heralded the start of hatching.
''The chicks are eagerly awaited by all our team, who love the birds and sharing with visitors the exhilaration of seeing awesome albatross,'' McDonald said.
This was a ''wonderful time'' to visit the colony as there were several nests ''within view of our viewing observatory on the nature reserve''.
This was also a ''very special year'', because it was 80 years since the first chick fledged from the colony, in September 1938, she said.
Operations manager Hoani Langsbury said recent overcast and dull weather was ''perfect for nest hatching'', given that summer heat was challenging for nesting adults and chicks — overheating and fly strike could lead to death.
The first 2018 chick's parents are a 20-year-old male known as OK and a 21-year-old female called KGK. The names are derived from coded abbreviations of the colours of the leg-bands worn by individual birds.
The chick at the focus of the new ''Royalcam'' live webcam is due to hatch this week.