"Waved Albatross" Top 5 Page for this destination Galápagos Islands Things to Do Tip by MalenaN

Galápagos Islands Things to Do: 363 reviews and 1,041 photos

  Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española
by MalenaN
 
  • Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española - Galápagos Islands
      Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española
    by MalenaN
  • Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española - Galápagos Islands
      Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española
    by MalenaN
  • Albatrosses by the trail - Galápagos Islands
      Albatrosses by the trail
    by MalenaN
  • Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española - Galápagos Islands
      Waved Albatrosses, Punta Suarez, Isla Española
    by MalenaN
  • Waved Albatross, Galapagos Islands - Galápagos Islands
      Waved Albatross, Galapagos Islands
    by MalenaN
 

The only place the Waved Albatrosses (Diomedea irrorata) breed is at Punta Suarez on Isla Española. They are the largest seabirds present in the Galapagos Islands and they look both funny and beautiful. I was very happy to see their courtship display while visiting Punta Suárez. It was an amazing thing to see.

During the breeding season in April - November around 18 200 pairs can be found on Isla Española. When the waved Albatross is not breeding it can be found over the Pacific Ocean east of Galapagos Islands and along the Ecuadorian and the north Peruvian coast. They can stay very long at sea, without putting their feet on firm ground. In the air they are very good fliers and can glide for long periods without flapping their wings. They feed far out at sea from the surface and usually eat fish, squid and crustaceans.

The Waved Albatross is a large seabird with a length of 85 - 93cm and a wingspan of almost 2.5m. They have a grey-brown plumage with white head and neck. The back of the neck is a bit yellowish. The webbed feet are large and the yellow bill is also big. Males and females look alike, but the male is slightly larger.

The males arrive first to Punta Suárez, in March/April, but the females soon follow. Most Waved Albatrosses are monogamous, some have several partners. The egg is laid on the ground and both parents help with the incubation. Strangely the parents sometimes roll the egg about. It is believed this is done for a more successful hatching.

During the breeding season, in April - November, you can see the albatrosses perform their courtship ritual. It is a fun thing to see. It looks like the couple is fencing with their bills when they snap and rattle. They move their necks from side to side, up and down, and they raise the bill towards the sky and make some guttural noises. You can see my video of the courtship display here.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 26, 2012
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Comments (1)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    You were lucky to see this. I have only seen it on TV

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Feb 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      I'm very happy to have seen the albatrosses and their courtship ritual. There were so many amazing things to see in Galapagos.

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