Galapagos Albatross on Española Island
The Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), also known as Galapagos Albatross, is the only member of the Diomedeidae family located in the tropics. When they forage, the Waved Albatross follow straight paths to a single site off the coast of Peru, about 1,000 km distant to the east. During the non-breeding season, these birds reside primarily in the areas of the Ecuador and Peruvian coasts.
These are medium-sized albatrosses, measuring about 86–90 cm long, weighing in at 3.4 kg , and having a wingspan 2.25m They are distinctive for their yellowish-cream neck and head, which contrasts with their mostly brownish bodies. Even more distinctive is the very long, bright yellow bill, which looks disproportionately large in comparison to the relatively small head and long, slender neck. They also have chestnut brown upper parts and underparts, except for the breast, with fine barring, a little coarser on the rump. They have brown upper-wings, back, and tail, along with a whitish breast and underwings. Their axillaries are brown. Finally they have blue feet. Juveniles are similar to adults except for more white on their head. Chicks have brown fluffy feathers. The lifespan of this species may reach 40 to 45 years.