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Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus

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The Short-tailed Albatross is a highly endangered seabird of the northern Pacific Ocean.  The species breeds almost exclusively on islands off of Japan, though recent nesting at Midway Atoll in Hawaii gives hope that this albatross will expand its breeding range and give a bit more stability to this precariously small population.  Short-tailed Albatross is extremely rare in the Neotropics, as it occurs only casually off of the northwestern Mexican coast; however, the lack of much pelagic coverage in this region might cause the species to be underreported.  Further north in North America, the species is rare along the west coast of the contiguous US and Canada, but is frequently observed in Alaskan waters.  Adults are largely white with black tail and black wings marked with white wing covert patches, a yellow nape shawll, while juveniles are sooty brown and gradually get whiter with age.  All ages of Short-tailed Albatross show a huge pink bill.  Hunting and bycatch in human fishing activities have contributed to the major decline of this species from the millions to just over a thousand individuals today, though the population is currently on the rebound.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/shtalb