June 28, 2016 – Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus or Diomedea albatrus)

Requested by: @gepwin

Breeding on Japan’s Torishima and Senkaku Islands, these albatrosses are found across much of the northern Pacific Ocean. They eat mostly squid, along with some fish and crustaceans, hunting mainly at night. They also follow fishing boats to pick scraps from the water. Nesting in large colonies, pairs return to the same site each year, greeting each other with calls and displays. They take turns incubating a single egg and finding food. Young birds first nest at around six years, after forming their own life-long pairs. Classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, their population declined dramatically in the 19th and 20th centuries due to hunting for their feathers. Today they are threatened by fishing industry practices, the instability of soil at their breeding sites, and the possibility of natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions.


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