Southern Royal AlbatrossPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Soaring Giants

The Diomedea epomophorais is a large seabird from the albatross family. On average, its wingspan reaches over 9.8 ft (3 m). This makes it one of the largest species of albatross in the world!

Most of these birds live between the latitudes of 30°s and 45°s. In fact, the majority of the world’s 8,200-8,600 pairs nest on the rat free, Campbell Island in the Subantarctic. That said, there are also smaller colonies on Adams Island, Auckland Island, and even as far away as the coastline of  South America.

Several characteristics make this seabird special. First, it boasts a pale yellow iris. Also, it has nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Finally, it produces a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides. Sometimes they use this unusual substance against predators. However, this oil also provides an energy-rich food source for chicks, as well as for adults during their long flights.

Males of this species are heavier than females. And all ages have a pink bill with black on the cutting edge on the upper mandible. Long lived, the average lifespan of these birds is 58 years.

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