Eggs in one basket
While many of the birds that visit your garden lay more than one egg at a time - the small blue tit can lay as many as 14 in one clutch, and others have more than one brood a year - the same is not true of albatrosses.
Albatross breeding sites are usually found on isolated islands, used year after year, and generally situated on a slope/exposed area where there are plenty of winds to help them take off easily.
For a bird that can live for at least 60 years, there is no particular rush to start a family, and like ourselves, they take time to reach breeding maturity.
All albatrosses lay a single egg - a big white egg that would fill your hand if you held it.
Incubation of this egg is shared between the male and female, with one out feeding while the other remains at the nest. The total incubation period is anything from 65-80 days, so it can take a full year for a pair to raise their chick.
If the egg is broken, stolen by predators, or simply fails to hatch, no further attempt to breed will be made that year.
Albatrosses mate for life if they find a suitable partner. If a parent is lost, it may take years before an individual finds another partner - if at all.
Breaking out of the egg is no mean feat for a youngster and while some will manage within a single day, others can take up to five days to finally escape from the confines of the eggshell.
Once albatross chicks fledge, they do not return to land for many years. In the case of 'great' albatrosses this may be up to five years.
Presenting wildlife programmes, I'm privileged to enjoy spectacles with a variety of wildlife. However, I have never seen an albatross. My dream is to see one of these magnificent birds.
Unable to sustain steady losses
Unfortunately, the areas where albatrosses most like to feed often coincide with prime longline fishing grounds.
Satellite studies on Tristan albatrosses have shown that males and females feed in different areas, which has an impact on the numbers of each sex caught. Female Tristan albatrosses are being caught and killed more often than males.
Should this trend carry on, eventually the number of breeding pairs, and the population in general, will be affected.
When the regular, steady loss of a species is greater than the breeding rate, then a population will start to decline.
The one egg per breeding season reproductive rate means that albatrosses are particularly badly hit by the high death rates from longline fishing, and their populations cannot sustain such heavy, and steady, losses.
Albatrosses do, quite literally, put all their egg(s) in one basket.