Wandering Albatross

  • Common Name: Wandering Albatross
  • Scientific Name: Diomedea exulans
  • Date Taken: January 19, 2001
  • Location: Prion Island, South Georgia
  • Photographer: Howard Cunningham

These albatrosses are part of the Diomedeidae family and are found in the Southern Ocean, particularly around Antarctica and the subantarctic islands. They are known for their impressive wingspan, which is the largest of any living bird. The wingspan of the wandering albatross can reach up to 11 feet (3.4 meters). This allows them to cover vast distances while flying over the open ocean. They have one of the longest lifespans among birds, with some individuals living for several decades. They may not breed every year, and their reproductive cycle is relatively slow. These albatrosses are skilled oceanic gliders and are capable of covering immense distances in search of food. They primarily feed on squid and fish, often scavenging from the surface of the ocean. Wandering albatrosses are known for their elaborate courtship displays, which involve various calls, dances, and bill movements. They typically breed on remote subantarctic islands, with South Georgia, the Crozet Islands, and the Prince Edward Islands being some of the important breeding sites.

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