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Albatross : largest flying birds in the world

Albatrosses are tremendous pelagic birds. Albatrosses are big, majestic birds that can be found soaring above most of the world’s oceans.

They are among the largest flying birds in the world, with mammoth wingspans and long, narrow wings that give them superb lift for easy flight.

Their large wingspan allows them to travel long distances, sometimes up to 10,000 miles in a single journey.

Unlike many marine birds, albatrosses also walk well on land. There are 22 albatross species in the world, all in the Diomedeidae family.

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There are 23 species of albatrosses, though arguably the most famous is the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), which is the largest flying bird in the world. This bird has a 11-foot (3.4 meter) wingspan, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (opens in new tab) — even bigger than the famous California condor — and it uses those massive flappers to travel thousands of miles in a single journey.

 

8 Interesting Facts About Albatross - Polar Latitudes

Albatrosses mate for life, but aren’t exclusive
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Because albatrosses mate for life, picking the right partner is a major decision. All species of albatross have some sort of complicated mating dance.

For the Laysan albatross, the dance has 24 separate, complex steps, and it takes years for males to learn them all, And until the young males can master the choreography, they won’t find a mate,

The females can afford to be picky, so if a male’s sequence of honks, whistles, wiggles, and neck thrusts doesn’t impress her, she’ll just move on to the next suitor.

Albatrosses feed solely from the ocean and therefore need to land on water to do so. As they cannot dive to great depths, albatrosses scavenge for garbage off fishing boats or capture fish or squid close to the surface of the ocean. Footage of albatrosses feeding

can be seen by BBC Earth youtu.be/k25zCNP9X1s?t=43 and in a video featured in the Encyclopedia of New Zealand here

Until recently scientists recognized 14 different species of albatrosses, but new research using DNA technology has confirmed as many as 24.

Thirteen varieties breed in the New Zealand region – more than anywhere else in the world. Several are extremely rare, like the Antipodean albatross which breeds in the sub-Antarctic Island of Antipodes.

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