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Seabird Picture of the Month, July 2006:

Black-footed Albatross Pair

Photo by Shiway Wang

Black-footed Albatross Pair - photo by Shiway Wang

This adorable couple was photographed on Midway Atoll. Black-footed Albatross are monogamous and the pair bond remains intact until the death or disappearance of a partner. Adults and pre-breeders (between 3 - 5 years old) partake in courtship displays which involves different postures in the mating dance. These postures are classified as: bowing, gawky look, billing, mouthing, yapping, head shake and wine, sky call, head up and whine, scapular action, head up and clap. Check out this website for some dance pictures: http://www.neseabirds.com/Midway/blackfoot.htm. Black-footed Albatross are long-lived seabirds, their average life span ranging from 12-40 years. Midway Atoll has the second largest population of these birds in the world. A video of the dance can be watched on http://www.scholtz.org/bill/nature/Loons2Trop/index.html.

For more information on the Midway Atoll breeding colony visit http://www.fws.gov/midway/bfal.html


To learn more about other seabirds, browse the Seabird Flash Cards on the Seabird Page of this website.

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