Wandering Albatross

Featured in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Wandering Albatross Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Diomedea exulans
Wandering Albatross Physical Characteristics
Black, White, Pink
Over 50 years
Top speed
67 mph
5.9-12.7 kilograms (13-28 pounds)
Wandering Albatross Distribition

“The Wandering Albatross has the widest wingspan of any dwelling chicken”

The wandering albatross lives totally on the wing above the world’s southern seas. As one of many largest birds dwelling, it has been the topic of quite a few research. Because of this, researchers have compiled an intensive record of details concerning the species. Though the common wingspan of the wandering albatross is about 10 toes from wingtip to wingtip, unverified accounts report measurements as much as 17 toes, 5 inches.

5 Unimaginable Wandering Albatross Info!

  • It has the most important wingspan of any chicken on earth and might soar for hours with out flapping its wings.
  • Juveniles have brown plumage, which modifications to white as they mature.
  • The wandering albatross has a salt gland simply above its invoice, which helps it shed among the sea salt it takes in.
  • This massive chicken spends most of its time flying, and it lands solely to breed and eat.
  • The wandering albatross flies roughly 120,000 kilometers (75,000 miles) every year.

Wandering Albatross Scientific Name

The scientific title of this sea chicken is Diomedea exulans. The phrase “diomedia” describes the genus of nice albatrosses. “Exulans” derives from the Latin root “exul,” which implies exile. Thus, the wandering albatross is essentially a solitary chicken, solely becoming a member of others of its form to mate and eat.

The taxonomy for the wandering albatross is as follows:

• Phylum: Chordata
• Class: Aves
• Order: Procellariiforms
• Family: Diomedeidae
• Genus: Diomedea
• Species: D. exulans

The wandering albatross is one in all a number of species within the Diomedea genus, which additionally contains:

• Diomedea antipodensis, or the Antipodean albatross
• Diomedea amsterdamensis, or the Amsterdam albatross
• Diomedea dabbenea, or the Tristan albatross
• Diomedea sanfordi, or the Northern royal albatross
• Diomedea epomorphora, or the Southern royal albatross

Wandering Albatross Appearance

One option to inform a wandering albatross from different forms of albatross is its plumage. It’s whiter allover. This distinction has impressed the choice names snowy albatross and white-winged albatross for this gentle-coloured chicken. It has a white head, neck, and physique with a little bit of black alongside the wings. Males are whiter than females.

The tail is formed like a triangle. This chicken has a big pink invoice that curves to a downward hook on the finish. Its toes are additionally pink. Usually, a snowy albatross can have pinkish-yellow stains on its neck from the extremely saline secretions flowing from its salt gland. Younger wandering albatrosses have darker feathers, which whiten as they mature.

The common male is about 4 toes from beak to tail. Females are typically smaller, averaging 3.5 toes in size. Usually, these birds weigh in between 14 and 26 kilos, though some males might attain weights as much as 28 kilos.

Their wingspan is essentially the most distinctive characteristic of the wandering albatross’s look. It’s wider than that of some other chicken. It ranges from 2.5 to three.5 meters (8 toes 3 inches to 9 ft 20 inches) on common. The biggest verified wingspan recorded for this species is 3.7 meters (12 toes 2 inches).

Pair of wandering albatrosses on the nest, socializing South Georgia Island, Antarctica
Pair of wandering albatrosses on the nest, South Georgia Island, AntarcticaMZPHOTO.CZ/Shutterstock.com

Wandering Albatross Conduct

When looking for meals, these snowy birds could make shallow dives to scoop up their prey, though they like floor fishing. They will even feed on floating particles, and they’re going to observe ships to eat the rubbish thrown overboard.

Though usually silent whereas in flight, white-winged albatrosses vocalize in a number of other ways when they’re wooing their mates. They trumpet shrilly, groan, rattle, whistle and cluck. They rap their payments towards one another and make braying sounds. Through the biennial mating ritual, they could additionally develop their wings and weave their heads backwards and forwards.

The one different occasions these goonies affiliate with different albatrosses is to feed on the waste from fishing boats. Then, they kind a flock and compete for the spoils.

Wandering Albatross Habitat

The wandering albatross calls the infinite sky its habitat, and it spends the higher a part of its 50-yr lifespan hovering above the seas and islands of the Southern Hemisphere. Its habitat contains the waters round New Zealand and Australia, Antarctica and Africa. The North Atlantic Ocean is the one sea the place the wandering albatross doesn’t vary.

As soon as snowy albatross fledglings depart the nest, they continue to be at sea for as much as 10 years earlier than returning to their residence turf to breed. These massive birds breed on such south sea islands as Southern Georgia within the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean’s Crozet Islands, Iles Kerguelen close to Antarctica, Macquarie Island south of Australia, and New Zealand’s Campbell and Snares islands.

Wandering Albatross Diet

Goonies subsist largely on a eating regimen of fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. These embody squid and shrimp. The snowy birds hunt in deeper waters than different albatross species, additional out to sea. They are going to eat phytoplankton, offal, carrion, and rubbish too. When potential, goonies will overeat to the purpose that they can’t take flight, stranded for a time floating on the waves.

Wandering Albatross Predators and Threats

Albatross eggs and chicks are most in danger from winged predators, mainly skuas and sheathbills. Imported home animals like pigs, goats and cats additionally eat the eggs and the chicks.

Grownup wandering albatross don’t have any pure predators. Human actions have made the species weak from a conservation viewpoint, nonetheless. Longline business fishing kills massive numbers of those white-winged birds yearly. Air pollution and overfishing cut back their meals provide.

Wandering Albatross Reproduction and Life Cycle

Wandering albatrosses mate each two years between December and February, starting when they’re between 11 and 15 years outdated. They are going to maintain the identical mate for all times.

Every breeding pair mates on dry land, on one of many islands inside their vary. The feminine lays a single noticed white egg, which is about 10 centimeters (slightly below 4 inches) in size. Each dad and mom alternate sitting on the nest. The egg hatches in 11 weeks or so. The dad and mom will return to the nest to feed their chick with oils from their digested meals.

Because the child reaches 4 to five weeks of age, dad and mom return much less usually, till at 7-8 months, the chick is able to depart the nest. It is not going to return to the nesting website for a number of years till it is able to mate.

Wandering albatross are lengthy-lived birds. Their lifespan is as much as 50 years. One banded chicken beneath examine was properly over that age when final sighted.

Wandering Albatross Inhabitants

As of 2007, the wandering albatross inhabitants was an estimated 25,500, of which simply over 8,000 consisted of breeding pairs. Since then, their numbers have been dwindling on account of business fishing exercise. At present, solely about 20,000 of those goonie birds stay. Because of this, the wandering albatross is on the weak species record.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandering_albatross
  2. Australian Antartic Program, Available here: https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/animals/flying-birds/wandering-albatross/
  3. Oceanwide Expeditions, Available here: https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/to-do/wildlife/wandering-albatross
  4. New Zealand Birds Online, Available here: http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/wandering-albatross
  5. Green Peace, Available here: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/oceans/wildlife-facts/albatross/
  6. Cool Antarctica, Available here: https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/wandering-albatross.php
  7. J. Cooper , H. Battam , C. Loves , P. J. Milburn & L. E. Smith (2003) The Oldest Known Banded Wandering Albatross Diomedea Exulans at the Prince Edward Islands (1970) African Journal of Marine Science, 25:1, 525-527.
  8. Data Zone, Available here: http://datazone.birdlife.org/sowb/casestudy/many-albatross-species-are-in-alarming-slow-decline
  9. Animalia, Available here: http://animalia.bio/wandering-albatross
  10. Independent, Available here: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/how-unflappable-albatross-can-travel-10-000-miles-single-journey-8945618.html

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