Wandering Albatross

About the Wandering Albatross
Also known as: Snowy Albatross, White-winged Albatross
Wandering Albatross

The Wandering Albatross is a large species of seabird that lives and breeds across parts of the Southern Ocean. It is one of the largest species of bird in the world and has the largest wingspan of any living bird.

Wandering Albatrosses have a black and white plumage. As the bird ages, the plumage becomes more white.

The Wandering Albatross spends most of it life in flight, over the ocean. The feed at night on fish and other sea creatures found near the surface of the water. They have special salt glands that help them desalinate their bodies.

The Wandering Albatross has a conservation status of Vulnerable as of June 2013. They face a variety of threats, including mortality from longline and other ocean fishing methods, nest predation by non-native species, and ingestion of plastic marine debris.

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Details & Statistics



The Wandering Albatross is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. Overall past and predicted future declines amount to a rapid population reduction over a period of three generations, qualifying the species as Vulnerable. At South Georgia, this species is undergoing a rapid decline over three generations (70 years). On the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands, the populations rapidly declined between 1970-1986, then stabilised, but have recently declined again. Longline fishing is believed to be a main cause of decline in this species, causing reductions in adult survival and juvenile recruitment, and this threat is ongoing.

International Names

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2013 Bonanza Bird #16: Wandering Albatross

Our Bonanza rolls on with the addition of our second Birdorable albatross species. Today's Bonanza bird is the Wandering Albatross. The Wandering Albatross is remarkable for the size of its wings. It has the largest wingspan of any living bird, averaging a...  Read more »