Black-Footed Albatross

Range Map
Phoebastria nigripes

The Black-Footed Albatross ranges over the Pacific Ocean. Most of the time they wander the northern Pacific, but some reports show they sometimes wander into the southern hemisphere.

Like their close relatives the Laysan Albatross, 70-75% of them breed on the islands of Midway and on the Hawaiian archipelago, but small populations breed on Mexican islands such as Guadalupe and the Revillagigedos.

Longline fishing and drift nets threaten albatross species. In 1990, nearly 4,500 Black-Footed Albatross were killed in nets. Successful efforts to mitigate these losses have reduced Black-Footed Albatross mortality since then.

Taxonomists regard the Black-Footed Albatross as monotypic (i.e. there are no subspecies recognised).

These long-distance voyagers, along with the Laysan Albatross are the only members of their clan regularly seen off the west coast of California. In Feb-2017, while on a scientific voyage to the Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Mexico), I enjoyed encounters with both birds.

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