South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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Yellow-nosed Albatross

Thalassarche chlororhynchos

Length: 32 inches Wingspan: 78 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Thin yellow stripe on top of bill, adults white underneath with dark upperwings and back

Yellow-nosed Albatross - Thalassarche chlororhynchosThe Yellow-nosed Albatross is a relatively small albatross that is normally found in the southern Atlantic and southern Indian oceans.  They are rare visitors off the coast of North America, but there, they have been spotted in a number of locations, from the Gulf Coasts of Texas and Florida, to a number of sightings off the Atlantic coast in New England and the mid-Atlantic states.

Habitat: Breeds on islands in the southern Atlantic and Indian oceans, but not as far south as some albatross species.  Outside of the breeding season, may be found across waters of both oceans, often in relatively warm subtropical waters.

Diet: Feeds heavily on squid, but will also take fish and crustaceans.

Behavior: Typically feeds by floating on the ocean's surface and grabbing squid and other prey.  Also capable of making short dives.  They are attracted to fishing vessels and other ships, and will often feed heavily on scraps and refuse that these ships release.

Nesting: The nest of a Yellow-nosed Albatross is a mound constructed of mud, moss, feathers, and grasses.  The female lays one egg, and both the male and female take turns incubating it.  Upon hatching, both parents will tend to and feed the young.  Yellow-nosed Albatross breed each year.

Song: Usually silent when at sea.

Migration: Breeds in the southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Non-breeding birds wander in both oceans, but are only rare visitors north of the equator.

Similar Species: Similar to Laysan Albatross, Black-footed Albatross, and Short-tailed Albatross, but near North America, those species are seen in the Pacific Ocean, while Yellow-nosed Albatross sightings have been off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S.

Conservation Status: Longline fishing results in incidental deaths of many albatross species, including the Yellow-nosed Albatross.  Populations have sharply declined in the last 50 years, and the IUCN lists the Yellow-nosed Albatross as an "Endangered" species.

Further Information: 1) Birdlife.org - Yellow-nosed Albatross

2) Audubon Guide - Yellow-nosed Albatross

3) Mangoverde.com - Yellow-nosed Albatross

Photo Information: Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

 

Click below for a higher-resolution map
Yellow-nosed Albatross - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota
 

Additional Yellow-nosed Albatross Photos (coming soon!!)