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Royal Albatross

About Royal Albatross

This is a huge seabird, with a white head, body and tail. The northern species has upperwings that are all black, and the southern species has white with black flight feathers, both have white and black trailing edges and wingtips; the bill is long and flesh colored with yellowish hooked tip and black cutting edges, the legs and feet are pinkish-gray. The juveniles have dark flecks on their back and tail.

Every other year in the spring, a couple will hopefully raise a chick. Their nest is a mound of vegetation on the ground, which is surrounded with a rim of mud or in a ditch. The female will lay one almost white egg, and is taken care of by both parents for 74-85 days.

They have a wingspan of up to 10 feet (1m) or more, this bird is a great flier, and can travel hundreds of miles each day in search of food with hardly a wingbeat and very minimal expenditure of engery.

They can live up to 55 years and sometimes more, and they do not breed very often. They are very vulnerable to population declines. They have been wiped out in huge numbers by humans visiting their breeding colonies, and other animals take eggs and chicks, and many birds are caught and drowned on hooks set from long-lining fishing boats.