Scientific name: Diomedea exulans
Wandering albatross have a white head, neck and body, a wedge-shaped tail, and a large pink beak.
Juveniles have mostly dark plumage, which gradually whitens with age.
Distribution and abundance
Wandering albatross are found right across the Southern Ocean, including Antarctic, subantarctic and subtropical waters.
Wandering albatross breed on subantarctic and Antarctic islands between 46° and 56°S such as Iles Kerguelen, South Georgia and Macquarie Island.
Young birds will remain at sea for five to ten years before returning to their natal island to breed.
Conservation status: vulnerable with population trends decreasing
Research shows that decreasing populations are due to the birds being caught in long-line fishing operations.
Wandering albatross breed only once every two years, and the task of incubating the half-kilogram egg and rearing the chick is shared by both parents.
Diet and feeding
Their diet consists of fish, cephalopods, jellyfish, and on rare occasions crustaceans. They also eat penguin and seal carrion.
Chicks may consume up to 100kg of food during their rearing period, which lasts for approximately 300 days.
Foraging trips of wandering albatross can last for 50 days at a time but tend to be much shorter during the breeding season.