Moana the star of Department of Conservation's livestreaming albatross camera returns to Taiaroa Head after seven years at sea

The first-ever star of the Department of Conservation's (DoC) livestreaming albatross camera has returned to Dunedin's Taiaroa Head after seven years at sea.

Moana clocked up more than half a million views on the webcam as she hatched, grew and flew the nest.

"We were always hoping. Seventy-five percent of the chicks who fledge on average return. So there's always a chance she might not have so we're really pleased to see that she has," DoC wildlife ranger Sharyn Broni said.

Moana rose to fame in 2016 after starring on DoC's royal cam as its first chick.

"She's been very very popular, people are constantly asking if Moana is back yet," Broni said.

Adolescent albatross fly from Dunedin to South American waters - spending up to 10 years at sea.

But webcam star Moana is back in front of the camera.

"Hopefully she'll start looking for a mate and could start breeding in the next three seasons," Broni said.

Since the webcam was set up, viewers have watched seven chicks hatch and fledge and if luck stays on Moana's side, the webcam audience could watch her raise chicks of her own.

"It will depend on whether she breeds in front, within the cable area that the royal cam can reach, that's the number one consideration," Broni said.

Providing New Zealand with its own royal show.

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