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About albatrosses

Shy albatross adult on sea

Image: Guy Shorrock

Albatrosses are among the largest flying birds.

They soar thousands of miles across oceans without pause. Their only need to touch land is to nest and raise young.

The ancestors of modern albatrosses flew the world's oceans 50 million years ago. Fossil records show they once roamed across all the world's oceans, and would have been seen around the coasts of England.

Today, albatrosses occur in all but one of the world's oceans (the North Atlantic). Most breed in the Southern Hemisphere, but three species live in the North Pacific, and one breeds on the equator.

In this section, learn what makes these birds so adapted for their life on the ocean wave, and find out all about the species at risk.

Why are albatrosses amazing?

Albatrosses are true ocean-going birds. To survive their life on the ocean wave, albatrosses are perfectly adapted to survive in one of our planet's most extreme environments. More...

Why are albatrosses amazing?

Species at risk

The threats faced by albatrosses are many and varied, so it is hardly surprising albatross numbers have declined at such an alarming rate that 17 of the world's 22 albatross species are at risk. More...

Species at risk

Important nesting sites

Take a look at a few key albatross nesting sites and the species you'll find on them. More...

Important nesting sites

How you can help

Black browed Albatross, Falklands Islands

As a Friend of the Albatross, your regular donation will ensure that we have the funds to continue the vital work of saving these graceful ocean wanderers.

Become a Friend of the Albatross