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"spread your tiny wings...." | by Tim Melling
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"spread your tiny wings...."

This is a baby Albatross. A baby Black-browed Albatross to be precise. The parents build a huge egg cup-shaped nest out of mud so they usually only nest next to streams where they have a ready supply of mud within beak's reach. But they will repair and re-use the nest, and this nest is clearly quite old given the amount of grass growing on it. On the Falklands where I photographed this, Black-browed Albatrosses lay a single egg from early September to early October and share incubation duties until it hatches after about 70 days. The chick is fed by both parents for 120-130 days when it fledges. They return to the natal colony after about three years to learn the ropes, but don't usually start breeding until they are ten years old.

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Taken on January 21, 2019