01 February, 2012

Southern Royal Albatross

Scientific Name: Diomedea epomophora

Population Estimate: 29K, Vulnerable status

Range / Habitat: Pelagic species which breeds on Campbell and Auckland Islands of New Zealand. Widespread in the southern Pacific Ocean when not breeding.

Field Notes: Huge seabird with long narrow wings. All white head and body, flesh-coloured bill with black edge to upper mandible. Wings generally black on top with some white extending from the body onto the leading edge. Wings white underneath with black wingtips. Distinguished from mollymawks by size and all white body. Northern Royal Albatross has no extension of white from body onto upper wings. Some plumages of Wandering Albatross may be similar but lack black line to mandible.

Personal Notes: Maora name Toroa. Seen in Foveaux Strait off Stewart Island. Considered one species with Northern Royal Albatross until recently.

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