New Hampshire PBS
   share this page
NATUREWORKS!
Home     About     Watch     Nature Files     Teachers     Order DVD     Contact

Short-tailed Albatross - Phoebastria albatrus

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Procellariiformes
 Family: Diomedeidae
 Genus: Phoebastria

Short-tailed Albatross

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernVulnerable
US Fish and Wildlife - US Status:Endangered in US Endangered
 
  Characteristics
Short-tailed AlbatrossThe short-tailed albatross is a large seabird, 33-36 inches in lenght, with a 7 foot wingspan. It has light yellowish-brown feathers on its head and the back of its neck and a white chest and belly. It has black and white wings, yellow feet, and a large pink bill with a blue tip. Juvinile short-tail albatrosses are brown. Despite its name, the tail of the short-tailed albatross is not shorter than the tails of other albatross species.

  Range
mapThe short-tailed albatross was once found in large numbers in the North Pacific Ocean around the seas of Taiwan and Japan. Today, the short-tailed albatross breeds on two islands in the Pacific Ocean. It occasionally is sighted off the Pacific Coast of the united States, south to California.

  Habitat
The short-tailed albatross lives on the open ocean waters and islands.

 
  Diet

The short-tailed albatross eats flying fish eggs, crustaceans, shrimp, and squid. It usually feeds in the early morning and at twilight.

  Life Cycle

Short-tailed AlbatrossShort-tailed albatrosses begin breeding when they are 6-7 years old. Pair mate for life and return to the same nesting site year-after-year.

Short-tailed AlbatrossThe female lays a single egg. The chick hatches in a little over two months and stays in the nest for up to five months.

 

 

  Behavior

Short-tailed AlbatrossAt the turn of the 20th century, close to five million short-tailed albatrosses were killed for their feathers. In fact, the short-tailed albatross was thought to be extinct until 1951 when a colony was discovered in Torishima Islands south of Japan. A second nesting colony was discovered on Minami-kojima Island south of Taiwan in 1979. Conservation efforts have increased the world-wide population of the short-tailed albatross to close to 1,000 birds.








 


Advertisement: