Short Tailed Albatross: Facts, Characteristics, Habitat and More

Short Tailed Albatross Facts

Scientific Classification of Short Tailed Albatross: Phoebastria Albatrus

Kingdom of Short Tailed Albatross: Animalia

Phylum of Short Tailed Albatross: Chordata

Class of Short Tailed Albatross: Aves

Order of Short Tailed Albatross: Procellariiformes

Family of Short Tailed Albatross: Diomedeidae

Genus of Short Tailed Albatross: Phoebastria

Species of Short Tailed Albatross: P.albatrus

Short Tailed Albatross

The short tailed albatross or the Stellar Albatross are mainly seabirds belonging to the region of North Pacific Ocean. Their attitude and appearance is quite similar to that of the South Ocean Albatross. Today these species are in the endangered list due to the hunting for feather trade. However, adequate fortification is given to save them.

Pictures of Short Tailed Albatross


Some Interesting Facts about Short Tailed Albatross

  • As compared to Laysan Albatross and Black footed Albatross, these species have larger beaks that are bluish pink in color.
  • The tails of these species are of the same size to that of the Laysan Albatross and Black footed Albatross. However, in comparison to other species of the same genus, their tails are much longer.
  • Till 1951, these species were thought to have become extinct.
  • Scientists refer to them as “shorties”.

Distribution of Short Tailed Albatross

Short tailed albatross’s can mostly be spotted in North Pacific Oceans of Taiwan and Japan. Recently they have been found dwelling in Minami –kojima and Torishima in the islands of Senkaku in Japan. In addition to this they are also popular in regions of China, Eastern Russia, Alaska, South Korea, and northwestern parts of Hawaiian Islands.

Characteristics of Short Tailed Albatross

  • Size of Short Tailed Albatross: The size of the elder ones varies from 33-37 inches.
  • Wingspan of Short Tailed Albatross: The wingspan ranges within 85-91 inches.
  • Weight of Short Tailed Albatross: The weight of these species lies between 4.3-0.5 kg.
  • Plumage of Short Tailed Albatross: Older birds adorn a white plumage. They have black feathers and coverts with terminal bars dotted on the tails. The younger ones have brown feathers.
  • Bill of Short Tailed Albatross: The beak of these species is mostly pink highlighted with a blue tip.
  • Head of Short Tailed Albatross: The nape and crown are yellow in color.
  • Body of Short Tailed Albatross: The lower portion of the stomach and the chest are white.
  • Feet of Short Tailed Albatross: These species have yellow feet.

Behavior of Short Tailed Albatross

  • These species like to feed during early mornings or at midnight.
  • They generally maintain lifelong relations. They usually come back to the same place every year.
  • They toggle when they walking on the ground but otherwise fly very smoothly.
  • They sleep while flying.
  • These species prefer to stay in clans. Similar gender species prefer to stay together.

Food Habits of Short Tailed Albatross

These species generally feed on squids, crustaceans, floating eggs of fishes and shrimps.

Habitats of Short Tailed Albatross

These species prefer to dwell on the open seas. They are mostly found making homes on the naked ground where the land is at a medium height or has cliffs.

Predators of Short Tailed Albatross

The main predators of these species are Tiger Sharks and Whales.

Adaptation of Short Tailed Albatross

  • These species have very fragile muscles that cannot withstand long flights. They like to move with flow of the wind without flapping much.
  • They secrete oil from the belly to keep away from predators and it is stored in the proventriculus. The belly oil contains wax esters and triglycerides that contain a lot of the energy and help during prolonged flights.
  • The albatross drinks salt water of the open oceans. They have a salt gland situated just on the top of the nasal passage that helps in desalination.

Flight of Short Tailed Albatross

The albatross has long narrow wings that help them fly swiftly and for greater distances.

Mating of Short Tailed Albatross

These species prefer to mate in mid-October. The mating process begins when they attain the age of 7-8 years despite getting sexually mature by the age of 4.

The birds use grass and leaves to build nests in which the females usually lay a single egg during one mating season. Both males & females sit on the egg alternatively and quest for food during the periods of incubation that lasts for 65 days.

Life Cycle of Short Tailed Albatross

The offspring are usually born during January & February after which both parents nurse the younger ones. They begin to fly only when they are 4-5 months old. Once they learn flying, they quit their parents.

Migration of Short Tailed Albatross

The birds generally flock to every year to the nesting places. These species stay on islands until the younger ones mature. After this, they get back to the ocean and stays there for the next mating season. However, the juvenile ones do not get back to lands until they are 5-6 years old.

Life Span of Short Tailed Albatross

These species can actually live for 20-45 years.

Conservation Status of Short Tailed Albatross

According to the reports of IUCN these species are in the list of endangered. They are foraged for their feathers. Various countries have tried to protect them by some implementation of rules.

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