Black-footed Albatross

Phoebastria nigripes

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Albatross (Diomedeidae)

Code 4

BFAL

Code 6

PHONIG

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered

The Black-footed Albatross is one of the large seabirds whose range extends throughout the Northern Hemisphere and especially the Northern Pacific. It nests in tropical islands, such as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Japanese islands Kri Shima, Bonin and Senaku. This species is colonial when nesting. The Black-footed Albatross makes nests in the sand, and mates for life. Diets include fish, fish eggs, squid, crustaceans and floating debris in the ocean. Threats to the species include long-line fishing, which claims 4,000 to 8,000 per year, oil, and ingestion of floating plastics. The conservation status of the Black-footed Albatross is Endangered.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-footed Albatross: This large seabird has long wings, a gray-black body, a white ring around the face at the base of the bill and pale gray upper tail coverts. Most have dark under tail coverts, some have a white under tail and belly. Most frequently sighted off the Pacific Coast of North America. Dynamic soaring. Glides for hours. Feeds mainly on squid and fish. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Black-footed Albatross: Ranges from the sub-Arctic sea, beyond the Hawaiian Islands, to the China Sea and to the North American coast, as far as Baja California. Once nested on many islands in the Pacific Ocean, but now breeds only on the Hawaiian archipelago. When not at sea, they choose bare slopes and coastlines with little vegetation, or with short turf, on which to breed.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • As soon as a young wandering Albatross gets airborne it won't land again until it is ready to breed, which can be ten years later.
  • Chicks live on a diet of flying fish eggs and squid oil. The rich squid and stomach oil is filled with fatty acids and nutrients that can sustain a chick for a number of days while the parent goes out to sea in search of more food.
  • Nesting primarily on remote beaches in the Hawaiian archipelago, individuals are known to undertake journeys from Hawaiian nesting grounds to northern California to find food for their young.
  • Satellite tracking reveals that some albatrosses fly around the entire planet in less than two months and can soar for six days without flapping their wings.
  • The Black-footed Albatross is the most commonly sighted albatross off of the western coast of North America, and is easily distinguished from other albatross species by its dark plumage and smaller size.
  • A group of albatrosses are known collectively as a "flight", "rookery", and "weight" of albatrosses.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Black-footed Albatross

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Tail covertsX
The short tail feathers covering the base of the long tail feathers.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X