A true ocean wanderer, only ever visiting land to breed
What you need to know about the Light-mantled Albatross
Our Expert Says… "Unlike other albatross species, these don't seem too bothered about following the ships closely, so when spotted they tend to do a "fly-by"! Interestingly it's quite common to see them at sea in pairs. What we don't know is whether these are actual breeding pairs or just individuals who have "teamed up". Either way, it's unlike the solitary habits of the other albatross species away from land."
Also known as the light-mantled sooty albatross, this species is arguably the most graceful of all the albatrosses in flight.
Given their alternative name due to their sooty-brown coloring, the light-mantled albatross has an average wingspan of about 2m (6ft 8") and adult birds weigh around 3.4kg (7.5bls).
True ocean wanderers, the light-mantled albatross stays out at sea away from land except to breed and raise chicks. In the breeding season, their aerial courtship displays are remarkable feats of flight as they impress mates with their aerobatics.
Once mated, this albatross pair-bonds for many years if not for life, and individuals can live for up to 40 years in the wild. Their preferred food is squid or krill, but they will also take what they can find in terms of fish and crustaceans as well as the remains of seals or penguins.
There are estimated to be less than 60,000 light-mantled albatross remaining, and their numbers are thought to be falling. This makes the colony on South Georgia an important site for breeding and for monitoring this beautiful albatross.