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Laysan Albatross: Facts, Characteristics, Habitat and More

By    May 24th

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Laysan Albatross Facts

 Scientific Classification of Laysan Albatross: Phoebastria Immutabilis

Kingdom of Laysan Albatross: Animalia

Phylum of Laysan Albatross: Chordata

Class of Laysan Albatross: Aves

Order of Laysan Albatross: Procellariformes

Family of Laysan Albatross: Diomedeidae

Genus of Laysan Albatross: Phoebastria

Species of Laysan Albatross: P. Immutabilis

Laysan Albatross

The Laysan Albatross are breathtaking beauties found mostly in Hawaii. One of the famous British Zoologist named Lionel Walter Rothschild illustrated these species as Diomedia Immutabilis (1983). They are known to be the single specimen inhabiting the Laysan Island, hence their name.

Pictures of Laysan Albatross

Some Interesting Facts about Laysan Albatross

  • The albatross are referred to as true nomads of the ocean.
  • The word Domedeidae has been deciphered from the Latin word called the Domedas, which means the champion of the Trojan War.
  • For many days, these birds fly high in the sky without flapping their wings even once. One would love to catch glimpse of their postures on the air rather than on the land.
  • These species can sleep soundly either while flying or while in water.
  • These birds can live for about 60 years. The oldest bird called Wisdom inhabits parts of the USA and such regions of Northern Hemisphere.
  • It takes only about two months for these species to circle the earth!

Characteristics of Laysan Albatross

  • Size of Laysan Albatross: These species are quite large indeed. They have a length of about 32 inches.
  • Wingspan of Laysan Albatross: The size of the wingspan is about 6 feet.
  • Weight of Laysan Albatross: The female bird is smaller than the male. The weight of the males range from 2.4 to 4.1 kgs while that of the females range from 1.9 to 3.6 kgs.
  • Color of Laysan Albatross: The hind body and lower portions are white while the upper portion of the wings, rump and back are grey. They bear a black colored blotch circling the eyes and some dark colored marks in the lower portion of the wings. However, these marks may vary.
  • Bill of Laysan Albatross: These birds adorn a pink beak with black dotted tip.
  • Feet of Laysan Albatross: The feet of these species are webbed.
  • Juveniles of Laysan Albatross: The younger ones have dark colored lower body with a grey beak.
  • Sexual Dimorphism of Laysan Albatross: Both males and females look alike.

Distribution of Laysan Albatross

Laysan albatross mostly inhabit parts of North Pacific and Hawaiian Islands, the Laysan and Midway Islands. They are also found in the Gaudalope Island situated in the western coast of México and the regions of the Aleutian Islands, French Frigate shoals, Revillagigedo Archipelago and the Bonin islands. During the mating season, they tend to relocate to the Bering Sea or Japan.

Behavior of Laysan Albatross

  • The laysan albatross prefer to spend much time in the sea and keep circling round the ocean water for many years. Only during the time of mating, they stay on the ground.
  • These species do not roll their wings while flying for long hours and travel long distances in quest of food.
  • As soon as the offspring go away from the nest, they tend to move towards the open waters. They return only after five years or so in order to breed.
  • They attain sexual maturity at the age of 6-7 years. By nature, the albatross are monogamous.
  • These birds resort to dancing in order to attract their partners.

Food Habits of Laysan Albatross

These species like to have crustaceans, cephalopods, fishes, squids and eggs (especially of the flying fish). They tend to have their food at night and mostly on the ground.

Call of Laysan Albatross

This albatross lets out a loud sound that has a variety of tunes including whistles and quacks.

Flight of Laysan Albatross

In the sky, these birds tend to travel for long distances in a gliding movement. The laysan albatross might fly high in the air or might dive downwards elegantly. They divert their direction just by bending their tails or their head. It is said that these birds can go on for few days without rolling their wings.

Migration of Laysan Albatross

These species do not really have a specific migration period. However, they spend the time mostly in the regions of the Baja at California and the northwestern part of the Archipelago. These species live in the regions of North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea in the periods when they are not mating.

Habitat of Laysan Albatross

These species usually dwell in open water areas but move to islands during the time of mating.

Predators of Laysan Albatross

The main predators of these species are:

  • Sharks
  • Tiger
  • Dogs
  • Killer whales
  • Feral cats
  • Rats
  • Big shaped ants

Adaptations of Laysan Albatross

These species can withstand the drastic winds from the North Pacific. They also sleep soundly when they fly. This helps them to locate residence on the ground during the night time, when they are awake, and also be aware of the predators at the same time.

Mating of Laysan Albatross

The breeding season of these species start from November and extends up to July. By nature, they tend to be colonial and prefer to build nests in small islands and atolls. Huge clans are often found making nests in the same location. The nests size varies according to the surrounding ones. It might be a small hole in the sand or something wrapped up in vegetation. In some cases, hybridization also occurs between the Laysan albatross and Black Footed albatross.

These species mate annually while some others might miss one or two years. These species do not breed unless and until they reach 7-8 years. During this period, they endeavor to get a partner. The juvenile ones get back to their colony within a span of 3-5 years. By nature, they are monogamous.

In order to attract their partners they do indulge in about 25 types dancing styles. The dance between males and females begin by clapping of beaks. In some cases, they dance by raising their heads pointing high towards the sky. It is seen many of them dance together close to each other. At times, they might also get homosexual partners. Such incidence of female mating has been spotted at the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu. The sex ratio comprising males out of females is 2-3. The females who are left unpaired tend to form pair and mate. Male pairs also take care of the eggs.

These species lay a single egg at a time. However, if it is infertile or gets ruined the female counterpart would not lay any eggs for that specific year. The laysan albatross egg is white dotted with spots. The females cover the eggs for 65 days while the male would take over for 2-3 weeks. Once they hatch the parents head out to the sea in order to gather food for the younger one. Usually both father and mother feed the baby.  The young albatross take 160 days to fly.

Life Span of Laysan Albatross

The Layson Albatross live for about 40- 60 years.

Conservation Status of Laysan Albatross

According to the reports of IUCN the albatross are in the list of endangered. Their population has reduced due to slaughtering and predation. Long line fishing should be forbidden by laws to save these species. Infact each year lots of younger one are facing death because they sometimes eat toothbrush and caps of the bottles dumped in water.

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