Black-browed albatross – Thalassarche melanophris

Black-browed albatross – Thalassarche melanophris

Black-browed Albatross – Thalassarche melanophris

This bird is of the order Procellariiformes and belongs to the Diomedeidae family.
The Black-browed Albatross measure between 85 and 95 cm long, its wingspan of 250cm for a weight ranging from 3000 to 5000gr. The adult has the back, above the wings and tail blackish brown, while the head, neck, mantle, rump, the above-coverts and underparts are white. However, the underside has a wide brim black, a trailing edge closer and also black, like the tip of the wing. On the white head, the face is white except the black eyebrow above the brown eye. Beak is pinkish yellow with the hooked end darker rather pinkish orange. Legs and webbed feet are pale greyish blue. Both sexes are similar.

This is a relatively pelagic marine bird. It is seen near the shore but it also wanders into the sea, up to 1000 km offshore. It attends island more often than other species and in bad weather, it takes refuge in estuaries, fjords and ports. It is often found near large schools of fish and follows the fishing boats which it retrieves fish debris, and it also follows cetaceans for the same reason. It forages on the continental shelf around the islands and near adjacent submarine shores. It often feeds in groups, usually in the company of other seabirds.

It feeds on fish and shellfish, squid and carrion floating on the water. The prey is captured with the beak from the surface while swimming or landing on water. It buries its head under water, and even the body, to seize the prey under the surface. It can dive up to 4 to 5 meters deep and for a few seconds, and feeds on night and day as coveted prey.

It breeds on isolated islands with nests installed on steep slopes among tufts of grass, or on rocky cliff ledges. The Black-browed Albatross product grunts, croaks and squeaks, guttural cries and moans are heard during parades. This species usually breeds each year and pair bonds last a lifetime. Birds parade with the extended tail and dance while shouting. They nest in colonies and are monogamous. 

 These birds have a life of over 50 years in good conditions.



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