Macquarie Island Albatross Photography

Wildlife Stock Images By Matt Brading

There are four species of albatross that breed on Macquarie Island in the summer months. Each go through their own unique courtship and breeding rituals. The Wandering Albatross is the largest of the group, with a massive wingspan of up to 4 metres, and is the least common. The Light-Mantled sooty Albatross is the most populous, with over 1000 breeding pairs using the island each year. The Grey Headed Albatross and the Black Browed Albatross are found on the southern end of the island.



Macquarie Island Albatross Details

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Photo Count: 16

First Published: 20141126

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Caption List:

1. Black Browed Albatross pair courting. Pair of Black Browed Albatross performing courtship rituals. The Black-Browed Albatross mates for life and these pairs return to steep hillslopes of Macquarie Island each year to breed.

2. Black Browed Albatross. Portrait of Black Browed Albatross during breeding season on Macquarie Island. These large seabirds canlive up to 70 years.

3. Black Browed Albatross courting. Pair of Black Browed Albatross performing courtship rituals. The Black-Browed Albatross mates for life and these pairs return to Macquarie Island each year to breed.

4. Wandering Albatross. Wandering Albatross showing off it's massive wings. They have longest wingspan of any bird and can measure up to 4 metres in span. They rarely flap in flight, instead gliding on the air current created by the wild ocean seas.

5. Wandering Albatross Juvenile. Wandering Albatross juvenile on it's nest, on the coastal flats of Macquarie Island. The chick is so large (12kg when it leaves the nest) that it takes just over 12 months to develop fully. This means the breeding cycle stretch over 2 years.

6. Wandering Albatross Juvenile. Wandering Albatross juvenile on it's nest, on the coastal flats of Macquarie Island. Eggs are laid over a period of 5 weeks during December and January. Most eggs then hatch in March and chicks fledge in December. During that time the adults return alternately to feed them.

7. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Perched on nesting site. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nesting on the rugged cliff tops of Macquarie Island, deep in the Southern Ocean. The Sooty Albatross are the smallest of the Macquarie Island Abatrosses.

8. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross calling to a prospective mate.. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross performing courtship calls and rituals from a prospective nesting site. Once a possible mate is attracted they perform intricate tandem aerial maneuvers to bond.

9. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Perched on nesting site. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nesting on the rugged cliff tops of Macquarie Island, overlooking the Southern Ocean.

10. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Perched on nesting site. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nesting on the rugged cliff tops of Macquarie Island, deep in the Southern Ocean. Light-mantled sooty albatross are the most abundant breeding albatrosses on Macquarie Island, with approx 1000 breeding pairs.

11. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Aerial Courtship. Pair of Light-mantled Sooty Albatross performing intricate tandem aerial courtship maneuvers above the steep slopes of Macquarie Island, deep in the Southern Ocean. It's though rival males do this to impress a female with their skills at mirroring her movements.

12. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross juvenile on nest. Light-mantled Sooty Albatross juvenile nesting on the rugged cliff tops of Macquarie Island, deep in the Southern Ocean. When the young bird finally leaves the next, it won't return to land for several years and it will be a few years after that before it reaches breeding age.

13. Grey Headed Albatrosses on nests. Grey Headed Albatrosses nesting on cliff tops on Macquarie Island. If a pair of has managed to successfully raise a chick one year they will not breed in the following year, taking the year off. During this time spent away from the colony they can cover great distances, often circling the globe several times.

14. Grey Headed Albatross nesting. Grey Headed Albatross perched on tussock grass nest on Macquarie Island.

15. Grey Headed Albatross . Grey Headed Albatross head shot of bird nesting on Macquarie Island

16. Grey Headed Albatross nesting.. Grey Headed Albatross perched on tussock grass on Macquarie Island.

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