Albatrosses are the seabirds which have 13 species. It belongs to the Diomedeidae family. They are found mostly in Southern Hemisphere. Also some of its species are also found in north of the Equator. Albatross have large feet and hooked bills. They have webbed feet. Most of its species have white body and black wing and black tail. Albatross relatively have large wings. Their wingspan ranges from 6 to 11 feet. Their length ranges from 28 to 54 inches. However, some of its species weigh more than 9 kg.
Albatrosses spends most of their time wandering the sea. They only came back to the land for nesting and breeding. Albatrosses are the colonial birds, which lives in the colonies of about 50,000 individuals. They can live up to 50 years. They are the long lived birds. Like some other seabirds, albatross also drink salt water. Albatross can float on water, but the position can lead them into danger from aquatic predators.
A male bird performs a courtship dance in the breeding season to attract the female bird. The female bird lays one white, brown spotted egg, which both the parents incubate for nine to ten weeks. The young bird starts flying within three or ten months depending on its species, till then it stays in the nest itself. The parental Albatrosses feed their young by flowing back the partially digested food. However, the adult Albatross hunt for squid, fish and crustaceans for their food. They are often seen following the ships for eating the discarded food from the ship.
Wandering albatross is the largest species of the albatross found in South Pacific. It has large wings of about 3.7 m wingspan. This is the largest in all living birds. However, we can found the black-footed albatross species in the North Pacific. It is dark gray in color with white markings on abdomen, head and wings.
In the past time, some species of albatross were largely killed for the manufacturing of women's hats. They were hunted mostly for their wings and feathers. The natives of northern seas hunted many Laysan albatross. Also the site digging at Aleut and Eskimo settlements found bones of the bird, which shows that these birds were also part of the human diet.
Albatrosses are considered as the most royal bird of Antarctic because of its long, narrow wings with striking grace. There are some types of albatrosses depending on their structure and color, which are given below: