Short-tailed Albatross

Phoebastria albatrus




Albatross (Diomedeidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with red spots.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Grass, sand, and volcanic debris.





Short-tailed Albatross: Large albatross with all-white body. Head and nape have golden-yellow cast. White wings have black edges and tips. Tail is white with black fringe. Sexes are similar. Males tend to attain whitest plumage and to develop this more quickly. Juvenile has blackish-brown plumage with small white areas below the eye and around the bill; pink bill and feet. Males may get full adult plumage by the time they are 10 years old, but some breeding females may not fully gain the adult plumage until they are 14 years old.

Range and Habitat

Short-tailed Albatross: Vulnerable species. Once commonly found throughout the northwestern Pacific. Currently, there are an estimated 200 nests on Torishima, an island south of Japan. After breeding, this species travels to the Bering Sea along the Aleutian archipelago and the southern coast of Alaska south along the Pacific coast to California.

Breeding and Nesting

Short-tailed Albatross: One white egg with red spots is laid on the ground in a nest made of grass, twigs, and volcanic debris. Both parents incubate the egg for about 65 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Short-tailed Albatross: When feeding, they alight on the ocean surface and seize their prey, which includes fish, flying fish eggs, shrimp, squid and crustaceans. It has been recorded that these albatross often follow vessels and feed on scraps and fish offal. They usually feed in the early morning and at twilight.


Short-tailed Albatross: Usually silent.

Similar Species

Short-tailed Albatross: Black-footed Albatross resembles juvenile but is larger with a pink bill. 

Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X