diomedeidae

2

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri)

…a species of mollymawk (Thalassarche sp.) that ranges from South Africa to the Pacific Ocean just beyond New Zealand, true to its name it breeds on a variety of Islands in the Indian Ocean. Like other albatrosses T. carteri spends most of its time at sea, feeding on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Coming back to land to breed.

Currently Thalassarche carteri is listed as endangered, due to recent declines caused by longline fishing, and the outbreak of introduced diseases, like Avian Cholera and Erysipelothrix rusiopathiae.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Procellariiformes-Diomedeidae-Thalassarche-T. carteri

Image(s): JJ Harrison

The Wandering Albatross, Snowy Albatross or White-winged Albatross, Diomedea exulans, is a large seabird from the family Diomedeidae.The Wandering Albatross is the largest member of the genus Diomedea (the great albatrosses), one of the largest birds in the world, and one of the best known and studied species of bird in the world.The Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird, averaging from 2.51–3.50 m (8.2–11.5 ft), with a mean span of 3.1 m (10 ft) in one colony. The longest-winged examples verified have been about 3.7 m (12 ft). As a result of its wingspan, it is capable of remaining in the air without beating its wings for several hours at a time

Waved Albatross - Phoebastria irrorata

The Waved Albatross, Phoebastria irrorata (Procellariiformes - Diomedeidae), is unique in being the largest bird in the Galapagos Islands, and the only albatross species found entirely within the tropics.

Waved albatross mate for life and only breeds on south Española Island in the Galápagos Islands, and (perhaps) on Isla de la Plata off Manabí province, Ecuador. A pair of albatross will lay one egg in a depression on bare ground, where it is incubated for almost two months. These large birds can live for up to 30 years. 

Nonbreeding albatrosses range at sea off the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, where they feed on large fish and squid. Due to the nocturnal habits of the squid, Waved Albatross often feeds primarily at night.

These birds are currently listed as Critically Endangered due to long-line fishing and disease, among other threats.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Eleanor Briccetti | Locality: Española Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (2005)

The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird, up to 11 ft (3.4 m).  They are generally found in the Southern Ocean and can live over 60 years.  

Like some other marine animals, wandering albatrosses have adapted to drinking seawater by having a salt gland.  This excretes a solution of excess salt through their beak, preventing dehydration when only saltwater is available.

Photo by Tony Morris

photograph credit: Albatross David Osborn.

How the unflappable Albatross can travel 10,000 miles in a single journey.

Scientists attached GPS trackers to a group of 16 albatrosses in the Indian Ocean.

They recorded the birds flying at speeds of up to 67 mph using a ‘dynamic soaring’ technique, which enables them to fly thousands of miles depending on the wind. 

full article at The Journal of Experimental Biology.