Description of the Galapagos albatross
The Galapagos albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), also known as the waved albatross, is a species of seabird belonging to the family Diomedeidae. It is one of the largest seabirds in the world, with an average wingspan of 8 feet and a weight of about 17 pounds. It has a very distinctive appearance, with pristine white plumage on its head, neck, breast and belly, contrasting with black wings and back, as well as a light-yellow bill and a red spot on the lower base of its bill. Its plumage is also decorated with black wavy markings on its wings and tail. The Galapagos Albatross feeds mainly on fish, squid and crustaceans that it catches while diving in the ocean. It is a monogamous bird and its couple is formed for life. It breeds on the island of Espanola where it builds its nest using materials such as twigs and leaves. The Galapagos Albatross is considered an endangered species due to habitat loss, marine pollution and overfishing. Conservation efforts to protect this bird include monitoring populations, reducing plastic waste in the ocean and protecting nesting areas.
When to see them?
The breeding season for Galapagos albatrosses generally runs from March to December, with variations depending on the island and the population. The best time to observe these birds is during the breeding season, when the couples build their nests and raise their chicks. On the island of Española, home to the largest population of Galapagos albatrosses, the breeding season takes place from the end of March to mid-December, with a peak of activity from May to June.
Where to observe them?
Galapagos albatrosses breed mainly on the island of Española. This island is the only one where this species nests regularly.