Wednesday, 21 August 2013

111. Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris)

The Black-browed Albatross is the most widespread and numerous of the albatrosses, hence its inclusion here - although it is usually circumpolar in the southern oceans, breeding on islands there, it has been known to roam as far up the Atlantic as northwest Europe. A few have been known to return in successive years to gannetries off the UK coast. Imagine scanning through the Gannets to suddenly encounter the severe frown of a Black-browed Albatross, HOLY MOLY! That would be pretty awesome! Although Gannets seem to be their preferred chums in these parts, and they are of fairly similar size (the Albatross is slightly larger), in flight the Black-browed Albatross looks most like a gigantic Fulmar, with its stiff-winged gliding flight.

Albatrosses are having a pretty tough time at the moment, with 17 of the world's 22 albatross species threatened with extinction due to a combination of factors including various harmful fishing techniques, consumption of plastic debris and introduced predators. Read more about it and donate to help albatrosses here!

Black-browed Albatross, ©Liam Quinn, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Black-browed Albatross.
Quite like this, although I've accidentally made the chick bigger than in the photo. I'll just pretend it's grown a bit.....

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