IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

This large seabird feeds on fish and squid from the surface of the ocean, and also on crustaceans (2). It is thought to often feed during the night, when squid swim closer to the surface, making for an easier meal. The waved albatross has also been seen stealing food from other birds, such as boobies; a feeding strategy that is called kleptoparasitism (2). Waved albatross mate for life; a relationship that starts with an elaborate courtship ritual. This routine is a precise sequence of moves, which includes rapidly circling and bowing their bills, clacking their beaks together and raising their bills skyward whilst letting out a “whoo-ooo” call (3). A pair of albatross will lay one egg in a depression on bare ground between April and June, where it is incubated for almost two months (2) (3). The newly hatched chicks have blackish-brown down, and after two weeks they are left in 'nursery groups' whilst the parents go fishing and return to feed them pre-digested oily fish liquid (3). About 167 days after hatching they are developed enough to fly (2), and around January the young will leave the colony and spend an astonishing six years at sea, feeding and scavenging. After this time, they will return to the island to find a mate and breed (3). These large birds can live for up to 30 years (6).

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Source: ARKive

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