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Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans

  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Diomedeidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
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  • © Rodrigo Tapia

The Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird on earth. It takes 9-11 years for individuals to reach sexual maturity, and they may live up to 80 years or more. Juveniles are dark brown with a white face, but they gradually lighten as they mature, and older males become entirely white aside from their black remiges and outer wing coverts. Separation of all age groups from the similar Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) requires great care. The Wandering breeds on islands in the Southern Ocean from South Georgia east to the Antipodes. Highly pelagic, it spends the majority of the year wandering the southern oceans, coming to land only once every two years to breed. Nests are placed on slopes with sparse grass tussocks and with an exposed site for easy takeoff.

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Display calls

© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), 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/wanalb