A Royal albatross could be feeling a little hoarse after regurgitating an unusual meal for its chick.
The meal in question?
A 9cm plastic toy horse was discovered in a chick's nest early last week.
Royal Albatross Centre operations manager Chris McCormack said the horse was the latest in a string of foreign objects found in nests over the past few years.
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Rangers were confident in their regurgitation inference, their conclusion based on the bilious condition of the plastic.
It was likely the parent bird had mistaken the toy horse for food while foraging at sea, McCormack said.
Other items found fed to chicks by their foraging parents over the years included packaging, spray can nozzles and bottle caps, but the horse was certainly the oddest.
Chicks could be maimed by sharp plastic items, or even killed if they were ingested.
"We are very lucky we haven't lost any albatrosses over the years."
McCormack said concerned people could help prevent future incidents by minimising their usage of plastic, and collecting rubbish when visiting the beach.
"We're pretty lucky in New Zealand that our beaches aren't bombarded with rubbish and plastic, but this seems to have been changing."