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