White-capped Albatross

Thalassarche cauta

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Albatross (Diomedeidae)

Code 4

Non AOU

Code 6

THACAU

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The White-capped Albatross has a small breeding range, confined to only three islands. Native to Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, this bird prefers grassland or marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 12,000 to 13,000 breeding pairs and because of its small range and susceptibility to human events, is a necessary inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the White-capped Albatross is Near Threatened.

SUMMARY

Overview

White-capped Albatross: Large seabird with white body and gray back. The bill is gray with a yellow tip and base. Underwing is white with diagnostic narrow black margin. Tail is gray. Legs and feet are pink. Soaring flight on stiff, slightly drooped wings. Often interuppted with several slow deep wing beats. Formerly Shy Albatross. Split by the American Ornithologist Union in 2014 into the White-capped Albatross, Salvin's Albatross and Chatham Albatross. Both the Salvin's and Chatham are out of the North American range."

 

Range and Habitat

White-capped Albatross: Breeds on only three islands, which are located south of Tasmania: Albatross Island, Mewstone, and Pedra Branca. Nests on rocks and feeds in waters over the continental shelf, including in harbors and bays. Casual presence off the Pacific Coast from southern British Columbia to Oregon.

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White-capped Albatross SONGS AND CALLS

White-capped Albatross E1

Calls issued from nest. Typically silent away from breeding grounds.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-capped Albatross is also known as the White-capped Albatross or the Shy Mollymawk.
  • Albatrosses can live for 60 years but breed so slowly that they are at risk of extinction within the next century. The main threat is long-line fishing. More than 100,000 die each year when they are caught in the baited hooks used to catch tuna.
  • It is the only albatross species endemic to Australia.
  • The current population is estimated at 55,000 to 60,000 individuals, including immatures.
  • A group of albatrosses are known collectively as a "flight", "rookery", and "weight" of albatrosses.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
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