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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: 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

For more information on the Midway Atoll breeding colony visit

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

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