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Laysan Albatross - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 08:46, 6 May 2020 by Aloktewari (talk | contribs) (OBI link deleted)
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Phoebastria immutabilis
Photo by Doug Greenberg.


79-81 cm. Black back, wings and tail, remainder of plumage white. In flight, shows some dark areas on underwing, but variable in extent. Dark iris, pale pinkish to yellowish bill, pink legs.


Breed in Hawaii, islands off Mexico and the Bonin Islands in Japan. Is found at sea in most of the subtropical northern pacific ocean, ranging north to Alaska.

In flight. Notice pale rump in contrast to both back and tail
Photo by Glen Tepke
Pacific west of Bodega Bay, California, USA, September 2007


This is a monotypic species[1].

Diomedea vs. Phoebastria

Genera Phoebastria and Thalassarche formerly placed in the Diomedea, but now considered by virtually all authorities (Clements, Howard & Moore, AOU, BOU, SACC) to be separate genera in light of Nunn et al. (1996) and Penhallurick & Wink (2004).


Breeds on islands, spends the rest of its life at sea.


Breeding does not start until about 7-8 years old, but the birds continue with annual breeding and are capable of living for at least 40 years. Goes on very long forays to get food for its young, up to 2.5 days between feeding.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. NUNN, G. B., J. COOPER, P. JOUVENTIN, C. J. R. ROBERTSON, AND G. G. ROBERTSON. 1996. Evolutionary relationships among extant albatrosses (Procellariiformes: Diomedeidae) established from complete cytochrome-b gene sequences. Auk 113: 784-801.
  3. Penhallurick, John & Wink, Michael (2004): Analysis of the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Procellariformes based on complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Emu 104(2): 125-147. https://doi.org/10.1071/MU01060 (HTML abstract)
  4. Awkerman, J. A., D. J. Anderson, and G. C. Whittow (2009). Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.66
  5. Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017) http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph/

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