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27 Albatross Species

Albatrosses are some of the most iconic sea birds in the world, known for their large wingspans and graceful soaring through the skies.

With a total of 22 species, albatrosses are spread across the world’s oceans, ranging from the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean to the tropical seas of the Pacific.

With a long evolutionary history, albatross species are some of the oldest living species, and in many cases, they are considered to be threatened and endangered.

With their long wings, they are able to glide effortlessly over the ocean surface and are able to fly great distances, traveling vast distances over the open ocean.

Albatrosses are fascinating birds, and understanding them can provide us with insight into their ecology, behavior, and conservation.

1. Wandering albatross

Wandering albatross

The Wandering Albatross is a large seabird from the family Diomedeidae found in the Southern Ocean. It has white wings, black tips and a long hooked bill.

With its impressive wingspan of up to 3m they are one of largest birds that can fly.

They spend most their lives far out at sea only coming to land for breeding season on remote islands where they nest on cliffs or rocky areas close by the ocean.

The species was first described in 1783 but had been considered similar to other albatrosses such as Tristan Albatross and Antipodean Albatross until recently when it was recognized as an individual species due to genetic studies showing differences between them.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. exulans

2. Laysan albatross

Laysan albatross

The Laysan albatross is a large seabird found in the North Pacific Ocean. Most of its population (99.7%) can be seen residing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where they form strong colonies and thrive among their natural habitat there.

They are small for an albatross but still have distinguishable features such as long wingspans that help them soar gracefully above oceans while searching for food over great distances with ease.

It’s estimated to have 1.18 million birds worldwide and continues to expand or re-expand its range throughout other areas of the oceanic region too.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebastria
SpeciesP. immutabilis

Also Featured In: Birds You'll Find in the Sea, Birds that Live in the Ocean 

3. Black-footed albatross

Black-footed albatross

The black-footed albatross is a species of large seabird from the Diomedeidae family, found primarily in North Pacific coastal areas.

It is one of three species of northern hemisphere albatrosses and has dark plumage unlike many others.

These birds are mostly located around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands where they nest on isolated tropical islands.

The population numbers have been rapidly declining due to human activities such as fishing nets and plastic waste consumption which affects their food sources.

Conservation efforts must be made to protect these majestic creatures before it's too late.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebastria
SpeciesP. nigripes

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4. Short-tailed albatross

Short-tailed albatross

The Short-tailed Albatross, also known as Steller's albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) is an impressive seabird that can be found in the North Pacific.

It has a unique combination of features from its Southern Ocean relatives combined with behavioural and morphological traits of other North Pacific birds.

Described by German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas from skins collected by Georg Wilhelm Steller, it is now a rare species due to hunting and overfishing activities in its habitat.

With white wingspan up to 3 metres long and black body plumage colouring them beautiful against blue skies, they are easy to identify when flying gracefully above waves or perched on rocks near shorelines looking for food.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebastria
SpeciesP. albatrus

5. Black-browed Albatross

Black-browed Albatross

The Black-browed Albatross is a majestic seabird that belongs to the albatross family known as Diomedeidae.

It is an impressive bird, with its black beak and brow contrasting against white plumage on its wings and body.

The most widespread and common member of this group, it can often be seen flying around oceans in different parts of the world.

These birds share many features with other members of their order Procellariiformes, such as shearwaters, fulmars, storm petrels and diving petrels; they all have long wingspans for gliding effortlessly above water surfaces.

They feed mainly by scavenging or hunting small fish near sea surface while flying low over waters.

Its population has unfortunately declined due to commercial fishing vessels which attract them closer to shore resulting in entanglement into fishing nets leading them towards mortality.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. melanophris

6. Southern royal albatross

Southern royal albatross

The Southern Royal Albatross, or Toroa, is an impressive sight. With a wingspan of 3 meters (9.8 feet), it’s one of the two largest species of albatross in the world alongside its close relative - the Wandering Albatross.

Recent studies have shown that it may even be larger than its cousin when taking mass into account and with similar wingspans too.

The bird has grey-brown plumage on both its head and body while they have white underparts plus black tips to their wings which can easily recognize from far away.

They are highly social birds who often congregate together before setting off for long journeys; during these trips, they rely heavily on oceanic winds for support as well as thermal uplift beneath them to stay airborne without expending energy flying themselves.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. epomophora

7. Sooty albatross

Sooty albatross

The Sooty Albatross is a species of bird in the albatross family, belonging to the order Procellariiformes. It is also known as Dark-mantled or Black-mantled Albatross.

They breed on sub-Antarctic islands and range at sea across the Southern Ocean from South America to Australia.

The sooty albatross stands out due to its dark brown plumage which appears almost black against sunlight when flying above water surface.

These birds feed mainly on fish but have been recorded eating squid, crustaceans and even carrion occasionally.

In terms of behavior, they are social creatures that often forage near fishing boats as well as congregating around floating objects like buoys or logs with other seabirds looking for food scraps left behind by them.

Overall, the sooty albatrosse lives an interesting life in southern hemisphere's oceans while providing us with spectacular views during flight.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebetria
SpeciesP. fusca

8. Waved albatross

Waved albatross

The Waved Albatross is a stunning bird with distinctive black and white plumage. It is the only species of its family Diomedeidae that inhabits in tropical regions.

During breeding season, they can be found mostly near Ecuadorian and Peruvian coasts while during non-breeding season they travel up to 1,000 km east towards Peru's coastline foraging food.

These birds are graceful gliders soaring through the skies using their long wingspans to navigates winds effortlessly when searching for prey like fish or squid at sea surface.

They also have an impressive courtship ritual involving head nodding which was once thought extinct but thankfully has been sighted again on Galapagos islands recently.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebastria
SpeciesP. irrorata

9. Grey-headed albatross

Grey-headed albatross

The Grey-headed Albatross is a magnificent seabird from the albatross family. Its name comes from its ash-gray head, throat and upper neck, making it easily distinguishable among other mollymawks.

This species has an impressive circumpolar distribution and can be found nesting on isolated islands in the Southern Ocean where they feed at high latitudes further south than any of their relatives.

They are truly amazing birds that have adapted to survive some of Earth's most hostile environments.

Through strong wingspan and agile movement, these albatrosses soar with ease over vast oceans while searching for food to sustain them during long migrations.

It is no wonder why this species stands out as one of nature’s greatest marvels.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. chrysostoma

10. Antipodean albatross

Antipodean albatross

The Antipodean albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) is a species of seabird that belong to the albatross family.

It is smaller than its relative, the wandering albatross, and has predominantly brown plumage which makes it difficult to distinguish from young wanderers as they grow lighter in color with age.

This bird breeds on islands off New Zealand, Australia and southern Chile where it can be seen foraging for food over oceans or nesting along coastal cliffs.

With an impressive wingspan reaching up to 3 meters long, this majestic creature glides effortlessly through air currents looking for prey such as squid and small fish near the surface of water.

As one of only four known species within Diomedea genus , Antipodean Albatrosses are vital components in marine ecology providing important nutrients into their ecosystem by transporting nitrogen-rich guano back home from feeding grounds far away.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. antipodensis

11. Amsterdam albatross

Amsterdam albatross

The Amsterdam albatross is a large species of seabird endemic to the island of Amsterdam in the southern Indian Ocean.

It was only described as an independent species in 1983, although it had previously been thought by some researchers to be part of the wandering albatross family.

The bird has white-gray feathers on its wings and back, with black wings and tail tipped with yellowish-white. Its bill is pink at base with dark tips; legs are also long and pinkish-grey.

This species feeds mainly on squid, fish, crustaceans and other small marine organisms close to shorelines or near oceanic islands where they breed every two years during summertime months between October through July when chicks hatch successfully from their eggs after 45 days incubation period before fledging around November–December time frame annually.

BirdLife International classifies this bird as a distinct species while others do not recognize it independently yet due to lack of scientific evidence supporting its separate classification status so far but further research should provide more detailed information about these birds soon enough for better understanding in future studies perhaps.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. amsterdamensis

12. Light-mantled Albatross

Light-mantled Albatross

The Light-mantled Albatross is a small seabird found in the genus Phoebetria. It has a grey mantle and sooty feathers, which gives it its name.

They are usually seen skimming close to the surface of the ocean, occasionally taking short flights over long distances.

This bird can be found flying near offshore islands or along coastlines around parts of South America, New Zealand and Australia's southern coasts.

The diet mostly consists of squid and fish they catch while gliding above water surfaces.

Their breeding season begins at late August where pairs build nests on slopes located within remote areas with dense vegetation cover like grasslands or shrubbery patches that provides protection from predators for their young ones until fledging takes place after three months since hatching occurs during November-December period when winds become stronger making takeoff easier for chicks upon maturity as adults reach up about 75cm in length with wingspans more than 170 cm wide.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebetria
SpeciesP. palpebrata

13. Tristan albatross

Tristan albatross

The Tristan albatross is a majestic seabird from the Diomedeidae family, classified as one of the great albatrosses in 1998.

It has special features that distinguish it from other members of its genus such as shearwaters, petrels, and storm petrels.

Its wingspan can reach up to 8 feet and it uses dynamic soaring for long-distance travel over water surfaces.

They form lifelong pairs with their mates during mating season which happens once every two years on Gough Island in South Africa where they nest until December before migrating back out to sea again after breeding.

The diet mostly consists of squid but some species also feed on fish or krill depending on what’s available at any given time.

These birds are considered very intelligent due to their ability to remember food sources and migrate accordingly each year without fail despite having no visual landmarks along the way.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. dabbenena

14. Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross

Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross

The Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross is a large seabird belonging to the albatross family Diomedeidae. It has gray and white plumage, with pale yellow markings around its nose and eyes.

This small mollymawk was once thought to be the same species as Indian Yellow-Nosed Albatross, but now it is recognised as distinct.

Its diet consists of squid, fish eggs and other marine creatures that can be found near the surface of the ocean.

It nests on islands off coastlines in southern Africa and South America during breeding season from October to April each year.

The Atlantic yellow nosed albatrosses are typically solitary birds yet they will congregate at nesting sites for mating purposes or form feeding flocks when food becomes abundant in an area..

They have been classified vulnerable by IUCN due their decreasing population numbers caused by fishing activities which entangle them accidentally into nets.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. chlororhynchos

Also Featured In: Endangered Birds of New Zealand,

15. Buller's albatross

Buller s albatross

Buller's Albatross is a small species of mollymawk from the albatross family. It breeds on islands around New Zealand and feeds in the seas off Australia and South Pacific Ocean.

It belongs to Diomedeidae family, together with shearwaters, fulmars, storm petrels and diving petrels which all belong to Procellariiformes order.

This seabird has black upperparts with white head cap extending down its neck while it also shows white rump patch on its mainly grey underparts.

Buller’s Albatross can be seen flying gracefully over warm ocean waters near their breeding grounds or when they come close inshore for food during non-breeding season.

They have an average wingspan of 2 metres making them one of the most graceful birds in flight.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. bulleri

16. Shy albatross

Shy albatross

The Shy Albatross is a majestic bird found in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Tasmania, Australia.

It has an impressive lifespan of up to 60 years and can be seen as far away as South Africa and even along America's Pacific coast.

This species is classified by IUCN Red List as "Endangered" due to its declining numbers caused by numerous threats, including human activities such fishing gear entanglement or incidental mortality during longline fisheries operations.

The birds depend heavily on their environment for food sources like squid which are also harvested by humans leading them into competition with fishermen who catch these squids for commercial use.

Conservation efforts must be implemented soon if we want to ensure that future generations will still have the chance to admire this incredible creature whose beauty stands out amongst other seabirds.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. cauta

17. Campbell albatross

Campbell albatross

The Campbell Albatross, also known as the Campbell Mollymawk, is a beautiful medium-sized black and white seabird that breeds only on the small New Zealand island group of Campbell Island and Jeanette Marie.

It has a pale yellow iris which makes it stand out from other species in its family. This albatross can be seen soaring through the air with their long wingspan looking for food or mates across vast distances at sea.

They are incredibly efficient fliers due to their unique wing shape allowing them to stay airborne for days without needing rest or sustenance making them one of nature's most majestic flying creatures.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. impavida

18. Salvin's albatross

Salvin s albatross

Salvin's albatross is a species of seabird belonging to the family Diomedeidae. They are typically medium-sized mollymawks that breed mainly on the Bounty Islands in New Zealand, with small populations also found across other parts of the Southern Ocean.

These birds have a wingspan up to 2 metres and their plumage is generally dark brown or blackish above and white below, providing them excellent camouflage when flying over open ocean waters.

Salvin's albatrosses feed predominantly upon squid and fish which they catch by either surface feeding or plunge diving from heights of 10m above sea level into shallow water depths for prey items resting near the seafloor.

As an endangered species due to human activities such as pollution, longline fishing practices, habitat destruction - it’s important we protect these beautiful creatures so future generations can enjoy watching them soar gracefully through our skies.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. salvini

19. Indian yellow-nosed albatross

Indian yellow-nosed albatross

The Indian yellow-nosed albatross is the smallest of its kind and belongs to the mollymawk family. These sea birds are found mainly in areas of southern Africa, ranging from Mozambique to Madagascar.

They have a wingspan that can reach up to 2m and they use their long wings for dynamic soaring over oceans.

The plumage on these albatrosses is mostly grey with white undersides, while also having distinct yellow markings around their beaks and eyes which give them their name.

Their diet consists mainly of squid and fish but occasionally will even eat crustaceans such as krill or shrimp when it's available.

Despite this bird being relatively small compared to other types of Albatrosses, it still has an impressive lifespan up 30 years.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. carteri

20. Northern royal albatross

Northern royal albatross

The Northern Royal Albatross or Toroa is an impressive seabird in the albatross family. It can be distinguished from its close relative, the Southern Royal Albatross, which was only separated as a different species in 1998.

They are large birds with wingspans of up to 3m and live mainly at sea though they nest on land.

They feed by fishing for squid and small fish near the surface of oceans around New Zealand, Australia and South Africa where their main breeding colonies are located.

The scientific name Diomedea Sanfordi refers to Diomedes who legend has it had companions that were transformed into these majestic creatures.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea
SpeciesD. sanfordi

21. White-capped albatross

White-capped albatross

The White-capped Albatross, also known as Thalassarche cauta steadi, is one of the largest species of mollymawks.

This bird breeds on the islands off New Zealand and has black, slate gray and white plumage.

It is debated whether this particular albatross should be recognized as a separate species from its shy counterpart but it remains distinct nonetheless.

The White-Capped Albatross feeds mainly on small fish or squid near the surface in open ocean areas while they are often seen skimming low above waves when searching for food.

They can live up to 30 years in age and form strong pair bonds which may last even longer than their lifespans.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. cauta
SubspeciesT. c. steadi

22. Chatham albatross

Chatham albatross

The Chatham albatross is a unique bird, found only on The Pyramid in the Chatham Islands of New Zealand.

It belongs to the shy albatross group and is considered one of the smallest members, with black-and-white plumage that makes it easily recognizable.

They are also known as mollymawks and feed mainly on fish, squid and krill which they catch while flying above water surface or diving into it from great heights.

They can stay at sea for months without returning to land since their bodies have adapted to conserve energy during long flights across oceans.

During nesting season they build large stick nests among rocks where both male and female take turns incubating eggs until hatching occurs after 68 days of gestation period.

Their numbers are declining due to human activities such as fishing gear entanglements but conservation efforts put in place by organizations like BirdLife International help protect them so future generations may appreciate this fascinating species.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusThalassarche
SpeciesT. eremita

23. Phoebastria anglica

Phoebastria anglica

Phoebastria anglica, also known as the short-tailed albatross, is a species of large seabird from the genus Phoebastria in the albatross family.

This tropical species nests on sub-tropical islands south of Japan and can be recognized by its distinctive white head with black eye patches.

The body plumage consists mainly of dark greyish brown feathers but some juveniles may have pale tips to their wings or tail feathers.

These birds are among the lightest flying members of the Albatross family, weighing between 2 - 3 kgs (4 - 6 lbs).

They feed mainly off squid and small fish while at sea during long flights which see them travel thousands miles along ocean currents before returning to land for breeding season every two years.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusPhoebastria Reichenbach, 1853

24. Northern giant petrel

Northern giant petrel

The Northern Giant Petrel is a large seabird of the southern oceans and belongs to the Macronectes family. It has broad distribution, overlapping with that of its cousin -the Southern Giant Petrel- but slightly northward.

First described in 1912 by Australian ornithologist Gregory Mathews as a subspecies of the Southern Giant Petrel, it reaches up to 75 cm long and weighs 3 kg on average.

Its plumage is dark grey above while white below, having black bill tipped with yellow or pink color along an orange line running from base to tip; its feet are also bright yellowish-orange in hue.

This species feeds mainly on fish and squid near coastal waters or scavenges carcasses farther away out at sea during winter months when food sources become scarce closer inland.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyProcellariidae
GenusMacronectes
SpeciesM. halli

25. Southern giant petrel

Southern giant petrel

The Southern giant petrel is a large seabird native to the southern oceans, and it overlaps broadly with its similar counterpart, the Northern giant petrel.

Adults of both species can be distinguished by their bill-tip color: greenish in the south and yellowish in the north.

The Southern giant petrel also goes by other names such as Antarctic giant petrel, Giant fulmar, Stinker or Stinkpot.

These birds are around 75 cm (30 inches) long on average and have striking white plumage combined with brown wings that give them an impressive appearance while they soar through skies above open waters searching for food like fish, krill and squid - which they can catch up to 100 meters below sea level.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyProcellariidae
GenusMacronectes
SpeciesM. giganteus

26. White-chinned petrel

White-chinned petrel

The White-chinned Petrel is a large seabird belonging to the Procellariidae family. It can be found in oceans around the Southern Hemisphere, ranging from Australia to Peru and Namibia.

These birds breed colonially on scattered islands and are sometimes known as Cape hens or Shoemakers.

They have unique white chins that distinguish them from other petrels, such as their former conspecies Spectacled Petrel.

Their wingspan averages about 115 cm across and they travel up to 4400 km during migration season.

The White-chinned Petrel feeds mainly on small fish, squid and zooplankton; it dives into the ocean for its prey using its strong webbed feet.

This species has an impressive lifespan of more than 35 years - making these majestic creatures some of our oldest avian companions.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyProcellariidae
GenusProcellaria
SpeciesP. aequinoctialis

27. Diomedea milleri

Diomedea milleri

Diomedea milleri, also known as the Amsterdam albatross, is a species of seabird within the genus Diomedea. It is part of the great albatrosses family and can be found in subtropical regions near Antarctica.

The Amsterdam albatross has an impressive wingspan of over two meters and weighs around four to five kilograms.

Its plumage consists mostly white feathers with dark brown on its back and wingtips; juveniles are grey-brown overall with darker markings.

This bird mainly feeds on squid but also eats fish, crustaceans and small birds when available. 

They spend most their time at sea due to being powerful gliders that require very little energy for flight; they only return ashore during breeding season which usually takes place between October or November until January or February each year in colonies situated along remote islands off Southern Africa’s coastlines where they build nests made out of mud using their long bills.

Scientific classification:
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderProcellariiformes
FamilyDiomedeidae
GenusDiomedea Linnaeus, 1758

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