Black-footed Albatross

General description.

Another pelagic wonder, spending almost its entire life at sea and coming to land only to breed, the Black-footed Albatross has a 12' wing span, white head and underparts, black back, wings and feet and legs. Its tube-like bill is yellow.

Flight pattern.

A magnificant gliding creature, the albatross has inspired poetry as it rides out gales at sea, unencumbered by any land mass obstructions. Yet in spite of its impressively long wings, the Black-footed Albatross is not an adept flier. Without sufficient wind to lift and keep it aloft, the albatross struggles to become, and remain, airborne.

Breeding habits.

Albatrosses perform elaborate nuptual ceremonies, bowing, bill snapping and wing flapping. They breed in huge colonies on remote island rookeries. These birds mate every other year, rather than annually.

Calls or song.

The sound the albatross produces is a prolonged nasal groan, "Ah-h-h" with a raising inflection.

Population and distribution.

Southern Hemisphere, circumnavigating the globe on the "Roaring 40's" trade winds between breedings.

Nesting habits.

The Black-footed lays one white egg on a volcano shaped nest of mud and soil, lined with feathers and grass.

Similar birds:

Great Shearwater Photo Great Shearwater
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