Common Name: Laysan Albatross
Scientific Name: Phoebastria immutabilis
and Short-tailed Albatross have a wingspan of almost
two meters, which is half that of the largest albatrosses.
Albatrosses do not nest in Alaska but they migrate here each
year after having bred in such far away places as the Northwestern
Hawaiian Islands and Torishima Island in Japan. On these remote
uninhabited islands, albatrosses nest in huge, dense colonies.
Nearly all of the 400,000 breeding pairs of Laysan Albatross
and 50,000 pairs of Black-footed Albatross nest in
the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
White head, neck, and underbody. Black mantle and upperwings.
Underwings have black margins and irregular streaks on converts.
Dark eye patch.
Bill varies from gray to yellow with darker tip; pink legs/feet.
Length: 79-81cm (31.6-32.4 in);
Wingspan: 195-203 cm (6.4-6.7 ft);
Average Life Span: 12-40 yrs.
Comments: Egg are laid November-December. Clutch
size is 1. Incubation lasts 62-68 days, by both sexes
in turn (turn may last weeks). Nestling stage lasts about
165 days. Young are tended by both sexes, may be left
alone for 1-4 days after 6 weeks. First breeds at 5-9
nocturnal feeders. Laysans are surface feeders. Therefore
feed on anything that floats on the surface of the water;
squid, fish, crustaceans and flying fish eggs.
Laysans usually stay at least 20 to 30 kilometers offshore
during the non-breeding months (July - October). During these
months Laysans are distributed throughout the northwestern
and northeastern range of the Pacific.
If one of the mates should die, they will most likely create
a new pair bond. Nests are made up of surrounding grasses,
dirt or shrubbery and are piled into large mounds that form
a nest cup. Laying begins in mid-November. One egg is laid
and incubation lasts about 65 days. Incubation starts with
the female who usually stays for a short two day span. The
male then takes over for as long as three weeks. During the
month of December the number of incubating males outnumber
that of incubating females 15:1. If the egg is infertile or
breaks during incubation, re-laying will not occur that year.
Chicks hatch during late January to mid-February. Chicks live
off a diet of flying fish eggs and squid oil, a product that
is rich in fat. Both parents will feed the chick by regurgitation
and will often leave them for several days while they obtain
food out at sea. The rich squid and stomach oil is filled
with fatty acids and nutrients that can sustain a chick for
the number of days between feedings. Fledging occurs 5-6 months
after hatching (mid-June through late July). Parents will
often leave before the chicks have reached their full juvenile
return to their natal nesting colony after spending 3 - 5
years at sea. Elaborate courtship dances take place throughout
the colony while these young birds search for a mate. Mating
and first nesting usually occurs by age 6-8.
Length: 28 inches
Wingspan: 85 inches
bird with extremely long wings
body, undertail coverts, and rump
Black and white
patterning on underwings
Bill and feet
shearwaters and petrels are smaller with shorter
wings. Black-footed Albatross has a dark body and
head. Other albatross species are rarer and
have different patterning on the underwings.