Wandering Albatrosses

Prion Island is a spec of land in the Bay of Isles, South Georgia (54.0270° S, 37.2567° W). It is a nesting site for a small group of Wandering Albatrosses. We spent an hour or so observing chicks exercising their still fluffy wings while sitting in rudimentary nests sculpted from the Tussock grass.

Wandering Albatross chick (Diomedea exulans). Prion Island, South Georgia.

Suddenly, a rush of air signaled the arrival of a parent, returning from one of its foraging trips and making a low pass over the nesting area. This bird is a male in breeding plumage (the small tuft of apricot colored plumage on the neck).

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)

Adult Wandering Albatrosses fly on long foraging trips – averaging 6000 km (3700 miles) over 13 days. These long flights are facilitated by a technique called dynamic soaring which involves exploiting wind gradients so that wingbeats are rarely needed.