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Black-Browed Albatross and Chick

Black-Browed Albatross and Chick
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2001-12-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon 70-200 f 2.8 L USM, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): A - Z Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-25 8:28
Viewed: 5346
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a scanned slide, taken at the colony on New Island, Falkland Island - located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The shot was taken just after sunrise. (My 4th posting - Greeting - was taken at the same location).

The Black-browed Albatross is known in the Falkland Islands as the Mollymawk, is found all around the southern oceans between 25' and 60' S. The Falkland Islands hold over 85% of the global population and are the most important breeding station in the world for this species. The largest rookery in the world is on Steeple Jason Island with some 200-230,000 breeding pairs (1987).

The Black-browed Albatross, Thalassarche melanophris, is a large seabird of the albatross family Diomedeidae. It is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, but is the most widespread and common albatross.

The Black-browed Albatross is a medium-sized albatross, at 80-95 cm (32-38 in) long with a 200-235 cm (79-93 in) wingspan and an average weight of 3.7 kg (8.2 lbs). Like other the other small albatross species known as "mollymawks", it can be distinguished from the Wandering Albatross by the wholly dark upperwings, dark tail band and smaller size. The features that identify it from other mollymawks are the dark eyestripe which gives it its name, a broad black edging to the white underside of its wings, white head and orange bill, tipped darker orange. In young birds the underwings are darker, the head grey and the bill grey, tipped black. They are similar to Grey-headed Albatrosses but the latter have wholly dark bills and more complete dark head markings

Albatross Colonies in the Falklands

Black-browed albatrosses may be seen throughout the year in Falkland waters, but return to their rookeries on land in September. Breeding is concentrated at 10 major sites, all cliffs or islands mainly off West Falkland. They often form colonies in association with Rockhopper Penguins, generally on elevated sites where birds can use updrafts for flying in and out. The nest is a solid pillar of mud and guano with some tussock grass and seaweed incorporated and is re-used annually. A single egg is laid in early October. Fledged young birds leave the nest between mid-March and early April but remain within the South Atlantic as they develop to maturity. They are long lived birds surviving 30 years or more and have a strong attachment to their colony of birth.

Diet and Inter-action with Commercial Fisheries

Black-browed Albatross feeds largely in the Falkland Current on fish, lobster-krill and squid. They may travel long distances to find the best feeding - sometimes more than 200 miles in a single sorties away from the nest. They are successful scavengers of waste and offal discarded from fishing trawlers a report for Falklands Conservation (An Assessment of the Potential for Competition between Seabirds and Fisheries in the Falkland Islands) has found that about 15% of their diet was obtained as discards from the fisheries. There may be some short term gain from the provision of this food, but the direct mortality associated with fishing equipment and the potential competition between the albatross and fisheries for the birds traditional prey stocks is likely to be more harmful than beneficial. Off the South American coast many birds from the Falkland Islands population are killed by long line fishing vessels.

deblink, GLEM, joey, jaycee, stevkds, ramthakur, Necipp, Alex99, nglen, Adanac, MommaMiaX3, Debz has marked this note useful
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To Debz: NestingJamesp 2 04-29 07:24
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow James, a magnificent image. A perfect moment in time. The parent and baby look just fabulous. It is amazing how perfect they preen themselves. Immaculate quality of the image.

good capture. i've never seen a seagull chick although i've seen millions--it seems--of seagulls. nice focus and colors.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-04-25 10:08]

bonjour James,

belle image "familiale", pas question d'approcher sans nul doute. Bon équilibre global. Un petit travail sur le BG et la légère surexp donnerait un bon résultat.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-04-25 10:42]

Hi James,
this is a fantastic shot!
Very sharp and crisp with a great POV.
I can't think of any fault at all.
TFS Joey

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-25 10:48]

Hi James,

What a fantastic capture. I am amazed you were able to get so close and take this shot. I have never seen an albatross and she is lovely. Wonderful colors and details. And the baby!!! Just a marvelous picture.


Very pretty shot James. Excellent white colour. Technically perfect picture. well done. tfs. Stev

A wonderful picture of Albatross with her cute chick, James.
The scan is truly faultless.
Thanks for sharing this lovely image.

Hello James this is a real cute shot Superb POV lucky to get so close without getting attacked. Very sharp and a nice close composition. tfs rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-25 12:56]

Hi James.
Thank you for your kind words and interest.
You have shared a really sweet shot. Amazing pictured scene and skilful execution. I like how the shot is exposed so much. You managed to solve the rather difficult task (shooting so contrast objects) perfectly. POV and DOF are selected precisely exactly. Bravo and best regards.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-04-25 16:53]

Hi James. A great shot of the Albatross.great shapness and detail .you were lucky to get so close.nice to see the chick.TFS. well done.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-25 21:39]

Hello James,
Splendid and heart warming image you have captured with sharp focus and great exposure. What a unique nest they build.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-25 22:23]

Hello James

This is one of those shots that you look at and just have to say "awe".What a wonderful moment captured.Excellent POV and DOF.Excellent focus and sharp details.The colours are vivid and well saturated.Your usual masterful camera work.TFS


Hello James, :)

Wonderful capture! Great sharpness and your DOF is something I can learn from! Always a wonderful surprise to see your treks. Take care, and may you be well.


  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-04-26 7:21]

A marvellous and lovely shot, James!!
Wonderful sharpness, POV and composition. Great note too.
Superb job!
Congratulations and TFS.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-27 8:05]

Hi again, James

This is quite a stunning shot! I really liked this one since i first saw it as a thumbnail in the gallery!
Now only did you manage to capture this splendid species of albatros in a lovely pose, but you also got a small and cute baby there! Terrific!!!
The composition here is excellent and the exposure is very well managed, despite the strong contrast from the bird's plumage.
I also like the interesting shape of the nest, too, nicely visible here.
All-in-all: a superb job!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-04-27 14:34]
  • [+]

Wow James, this is a fabulous! I'm sorry I have missed some of your shots lately, work and more work. I am wondering how how or low they nest on the cliffs in the Falklands? This is a great close up. To photograph an Albatross is a dream for me at the moment. But to have one on the nest with a new chick, amazing. Wonderful light colour and shadows, great POV with the chick.

bonjour james
une pointe de douceur dans ce monde de brutes,le papa ou la maman avec son petit c'est tellement attendrissant.
exposition correcte.

great pic, very sharp and intimate, TFS Ori

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