yellow-nosed mollymawk

The Indian Ocean yellow-nosed albatross is the smallest of the albtrosses. It breeds on Prince Edward Islands, the Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Island, Amsterdam Island and St Paul Islands in the Indian Ocean. Birds ranges from South Africa to the Pacific Ocean just beyond New Zealand, ranging from 30° S to 50° S.

According to Birdlife International, this species is listed as endangered as it has a very small breeding range and is estimated to be undergoing a very rapid ongoing decline projected over three generations longline fisheries. However, efforts to help conserve this bird are underway, with counting of the birds on Gough Island. Also, Gough Island and Inaccessible Island are nature preserves, and Gough Island is a World Heritage Site.

The yellow-nosed albatross is an annual breeder. Nests are a pedestal made of mud, peat, feathers and vegetation. Eggs are laid September to early October, and chicks fledge in late March to April. Young birds return to colonies from five years of age, and experienced breeders will attempt to breed in two of every three years. It feeds by surface-seizing and occasionally diving, and also feeds in association with marine mammals or gamefish which bring baitfish to the surface. It is strongly attracted to fishing vessels and studies from shelf waters have shown scavenged food can comprise a large proportion of stomach contents. Habitat Breeding It builds nests built on tussock grass, on rocks and under trees. Diet When not scavenging, its diet is largely comprised of fish, but also cephalopods

yellow-nosed albatross
Sub Species:

Other common names:  — Thalassarche carteri

Description:  — 


75 cm., 2.5 kg., small slender mollymawk, adult pale grey or white head and nape, dark grey mantle, upperwing, and tail; rump and underparts are white, underwing white with a black tip with a narrow black margin at the leading edge; bill black with a yellow upper ridge and a red tip; juvenile white head and all black bill. Difficult to distinguish from the closely related Grey-headed Albatross and Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross.

Where to find:  — 

Breeds on islands in South Atlantic and South Indian Oceans. A few, mainly carteri, regularly reach the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty in New Zealand in winter.

Youtube video  — 

»»»  yellow-nosed albatross

Poetry:  — 

Ka pa te muri, ka tangi te toroa
Ki tona kainga i waho i te moana.

When the north wind blows,
The albatross weeps for its home far out on the ocean.

Illustration description: — 


Mathews, Gregory, The Birds of Australia 1910-28.

Latham, John, A General Synopsis of Birds, London, 1795.

Reference(s): — 


Oliver, W.R.B. New Zealand Birds, 1955.

Heather, B., & Robertson, H., Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, 2000.

Page date & version: — 


Tuesday, 27 May 2014; ver2009v1


©  2005    Narena Olliver,    new zealand birds limited,     Greytown, New Zealand.