Albatross becomes internet sensation after ‘faceplanting’ during awkward landing

A royal albatross has left viewers in stitches when it faceplanted to the ground in a miscalculated landing.

The awkward moment was captured on a nesting camera at the Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island and was live-streamed to viewers around the world.

The beginning of the clip shows a four-week-old chick looking over the sea while calling out to its parents from the nest.

Soon an adult comes into frame and attempts to achieve a glorious landing with its feet first and wings back.

But it does not seem to be the case and in fact, the seabird tumbles upon impact and hits the ground headfirst, sending its legs flailing in the air.

It takes a few second to pull itself up while the chick watches on.

The moment was shared on Royal Albatross Cam's Twitter account on Saturday and amassed more than 1.2 million views.

In the caption, they said: "Flying for the albatross is mainly effortless, landing can be a little bit harder… chick had a front-row seat to a 'how not to land' lesson."

"Lucky for the somersaulting alby, recovery was quick and only the chick was watching!"

Viewers shared their hilarious thoughts and commented on what the bird might have been thinking after the landing.

One said: "In the last 10s of the clip, one can almost hear the albatross say 'any landing one walks away from is a good landing'."

A second guessed: "Bird looks around and then tells chick 'I meant to do that."

Hoani Langsbury, manager at the reserve, said "crash landings" were very common for juvenile albatrosses, and added this 11 to 12-year-old adult “would have had plenty of time to learn to land properly”.

He said once the bird had learned to fly, it would typically spend between four and five years at sea without putting their feet on land.

When they did return, they tended to "roly-poly on to the ground", the expert said.

Juveniles tended to feel embarrassed because it made them look foolish in front of a potential first mate.

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