SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS

SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS (Diomedea epomophora) – (See images below)
The Southern Royal Albatross is almost as large as the Wandering Albatross. It is also similar in appearance but with more dark feathers on its back. It is considered vulnerable and is a frequent victim of the long line fishing industry.

NOTES: The albatross is part of an order of birds that includes seabirds with a ‘tubenose’ bill. This highly specialized bill is made of plates and the nostrils are inside one of them in the shape of a ‘tube’. These birds drink seawater, and they have glands in their bill to extract the salt from the water. Their nostrils also have a self-defensive feature – when threatened they can spit out a foul-smelling oil from that organ.

Southern royal albatross - off Kaikoura Peninsula, NZ
Southern royal albatross – off Kaikoura Peninsula, NZ