Habitat and Ecology
Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour This species is a biennially breeder, although 5.4% and 1% of successful breeders on Marion Island and Bird Island respectively, attempt to breed annually. Birds return to colonies between late September and early October, laying occurs in October and chicks hatch by December. Chicks fledge from April to May, returning to breeding colonies at the earliest at 3 years of age but generally at 6 or 7 years old. First breeding can begin as early as 7 years old, but the average age on Campbell Island is 13.5 years old and the modal age on South Georgia is 12 years old. It feeds by surface-seizing but can also dive up to depths of 6 m34. Substantial segregation in foraging areas is apparent for male and female Grey-headed Albatross during incubation at South Georgia, with males travelling on average further than females15. At Iles Kerguelen, Campbell Island and South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur), the species is principally an oceanic forager, concentrating in the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone and associated oceanic upwellings. However, in years of low availability, chick-rearing birds from South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur) forage mainly in Antarctic shelf-slope waters around the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Prey biogeography also indicates some neritic foraging around Iles Kerguelen and Campbell Island during chick rearing34. On Marion Island, incubating birds foraged in the Sub-tropical Frontal Zone and the Subantarctic Zone in association with what are most likely eddies. In contrast, during chick rearing, foraging was concentrated in the Subantarctic and Polar Frontal Zones to the south-west of the island, also in association with eddies17,19. Habitat Breeding It breeds on steep slopes or cliffs, generally with tussock-grass. Diet Its diet is variable with locality and year34. It feeds mainly on cephalopods and fish, but crustaceans, carrion and lampreys are locally important10,31, 32, 33. It actively scavenges longline baits9.
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