Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Saturday, February 12, 2005

With a wingspan of 7-8 feet and a weight of 7-11 pounds, the waved albatross is the largest Galapagos bird. On land they appear to be very clumsy, but in the air, they are among the most graceful of sea birds. They are endamic & found on only one island, Espanola. They spend part of their year at sea. From January through March, they are found in the Pacific east of the Galapagos, and along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru. Waved albatrosses mate for life, so the male returns to the previous year's breeding territory and waits for his partner. Between mid-April and July the pair produces one egg, which is incubated by both parents for about two months. Early in incubation, each parent takes long stints, as much as three weeks, but as hatching nears, the stints become shorter. The albatross does not build a nest, but rather, lays the egg on the ground.


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