Albatross (Diomedeidae) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name – Albatross

Scientific Name : Diomedeidae

Type : Birds 

Age : upto 50 years approximately

Diet : Carnivores

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 1.1 – 1.4 m

Weight : 2.6 kg to 8.5 kg

Colour :  Brown, Grey, Yellow, Red, Black, White

Skin Type : Feathers

Wingspan : 2.51 to 3.5 m

Current Population : 26,000

Current Population Trend : Decreasing 

Native : New Zealand , Australia, Albatross Island, Pedra Branca, and the Mewstone

Facts

Main Prey : squid, krill, schools of fish, and much less commonly, zooplankton.

Habitat : Southern Ocean, North Pacific Ocean and islands 

Predators : humans, sharks, cats, and rats.

Favourite Food : fish.

Amazing Facts

  • The name albatross is derived from the Arabic word al-qadus or al-gaas, which simply means “the diver.” The term alcatraz was then adapted by the Portuguese (as in the modern American prison). This was later incorporated into the English language as albatross.
  • The long orange or yellow beak has several horned plates and is hooked at the top. It also has side tubes that allow it to calculate airspeed when in flight.
  • Since the albatross scarcely flaps its wings, they are rigid and arched. Instead, the bird glides for long stretches on the ocean winds with no body activity. This is a good adaptation since they would bear a lot of weight. That also means they can’t travel too far when there’s no wind. The albatross, on the other hand, expends virtually no energy while in flight.
  • The albatross will migrate to isolated islands and coastal areas to breed after spending months at sea. The albatross is very particular about its companion.
  • Albatrosses may spend a year or more at sea after they fledge, the majority of which is spent flying. Since touching down in the water puts them at risk from predators, they only do so momentarily to drink.
  • These couple bonds do not always stick to the human concept of romance. Albatross couples spend relatively little time together, only occasionally meeting at their breeding grounds before their egg is laid.
  • They then alternate between incubating the egg and foraging for food. Both birds would finally need to hunt for food in order to feed their growing chick. Once their chick has fledged after 165 days, the couple splits for the remainder of the year, reuniting again when it is time to breed again.

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