A research assignment by Hannah Neilson, Room 14, 2013.
Albatrosses mainly eat surface squid and
schooling fish, but they will follow
mariners’ boats in hope of dining on
hand-outs or thrown over board
Royal Albatrosses have an amazing wingspan
of over three meters(2m-3.4m!) Using this
wingspan, an Albatross can cover up to 5000
kilometres in one journey! Albatrosses also
have an amazing lifespan of up to sixty years.
They weigh around nine kilograms.
Albatrosses weigh around nine kilograms.
Albatross chicks end up weighing more than
their parents while they are growing up as
they have no way of losing weight while
sitting in their nest.
Albatrosses can be seen around Taiaroa Head,
Otago Peninsula. They can also be seen around
the northern oceans, although can be seen all
around New Zealand coasts.
Albatrosses spend most of their time out at sea
because they are hunting for food so as to survive in
the wild. Albatrosses use their special tubed nostrils (
positioned at the top and slightly to each side of the
bill) to remove the salt from all the water they drink
when they dive after surface water squid and schooling
fish. Northern Royal Albatrosses have a regular route
they follow around the southern oceans
Mating pairs only lay one egg every two years. Young
albatrosses can fly within 7-10 months of birth. They
leave their birth island for 5-10 years at 9 months.
Albatrosses use their formidable wingspan to ride the
ocean winds without a single flap of their wings for
hours on end. The sea is an albatrosses bed, as they
can float on it while sleeping and not sink. This
position makes them vulnerable to aquatic predators.
Albatrosses are rarely seen on land as they prefer
to remain at sea, only coming to land to breed and
raise their young. It takes up to seventy-nine days
for an egg to hatch after it has been laid.
Albatrosses have special tubed noses up the top and
slightly to the side of their bill. They use these to
remove salt from the water the bird takes in while
diving for food. Albatrosses were heavily hunted for
their feathers, which were used as down and in the
manufacture of women’s hats.
INTERESTING FACTS CONTINUED
Albatrosses have a special place in maritime
and superstition, most memorably in
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of The
Ancient Mariner. They measure over one
metre from the point of their beak to the
tip of their tail. When albatrosses get tired
of gliding, they have a short rest on their
giant bed, the sea.