White-capped Albatross

Thalassarche cauta




Albatross (Diomedeidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with red brown flecks

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

62 - 66

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On rocky ground.

Nest Material:

Earth and vegetation.





White-capped Albatross: Large seabird with white body and gray back. Bill is gray with yellow tip and base. White underwing has diagnostic narrow black margin. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has black-tipped bill and gray on back and sides of neck, sometimes forming a collar. 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.

Breeding and Nesting

White-capped Albatross: One white egg with red brown flecks is laid on a sturdy column of packed earth and vegetation built on a rocky terrace or broad ledge, usually on a slope overlooking the sea. Incubation ranges from 62 to 66 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

White-capped Albatross: Feeds on fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and tunicates caught at the water surface; follows fishing vessels in flocks to feed on garbage thrown overboard.


White-capped Albatross: Usually silent.

Similar Species

White-capped Albatross: Laysan Albatross has darker back, shorter bill, and less white on rump.

Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X