Laysan albatrosses breed on the Hawaiian islands, some of Japan’s Bonin Islands, Guadalupe Island, and other islands off the coast of western Mexico. These albatrosses mainly breed in the Hawaiian archipelago; more than half of the population breeds on Midway Island. Their name comes from the breeding colony on Laysan, in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. When Laysan albatrosses are not breeding, they occur throughout the Pacific Ocean. Birds spend nearly half the year (July through November) at sea and don’t land until breeding season. Non-breeding albatrosses are found mostly near the Aleutians and the Bering Sea. Laysan albatrosses take off from breeding grounds in July and head northwest towards Japan, northeast in August, and then south again to breeding islands in November. Their range is limited by central Pacific winds because albatrosses depend on wind currents for sustained flight.
Biogeographic Regions: oceanic islands (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )
- National Audubon Society, Inc. 2005. "Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis)" (On-line). National Audubon Society. Accessed May 29, 2007 at http://web1.audubon.org/waterbirds/species.php?speciesCode=layalb.
- Whittow, G. 1993. "Laysan Albatross (Diomedea immutabilis)" (On-line). The Birds of North America Online. Accessed May 29, 2007 at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/account/Laysan_Albatross/DISTRIBUTION.html.