Wandering Albatross Wingspan: How Huge Are Their Wings Really? | Kidadl

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Wandering Albatross Wingspan: How Huge Are Their Wings Really?

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Wandering albatrosses are awesome gliders, and they can soar at great heights without flapping a wing.

These majestic birds are very energy efficient and can conserve energy while flying. These wandering albatross birds are widely studied for their unique features.

Studies reveal that these wandering albatross birds spend less energy in flight than the amount of energy they spend while sitting in their nest for breeding. No doubt, these wandering albatrosses have enjoyed immense attention in the world of literature, art, and science for a long time. The species name albatross Diomedea exulans has two words. Diomedea is derived from the Greek mythology hero Diomedes. The term exulans in albatross Diomedea exulans has been derived from the Latin word meaning exile or wanderer.

Another unique feature of these wandering albatrosses is that they grow whiter as they grow old. These wandering albatross birds spend their entire life on the sea. They have a lifespan of 50 years, and they spend their time soaring and gliding high above oceans in the south. In literature, these albatross birds are believed to carry souls of dead mariners. The feet of albatross birds were often used as tobacco pouches. Albatrosses fly alone or in pairs, and they never fly in a group. The wandering albatross can be found breeding on the Kerguelen Island, the South Georgia Island and the Macquire Island. These incredible birds mate for a lifetime, and after breeding, the wandering albatross chick remains on the island.

The chick remains on the island until it has reached its breeding stage after around 5-10 years. The chick grows into a young bird during this breeding phase and returns to its natal island for breeding. Wandering albatrosses mate and lay their eggs in a nest in November. The nest is a mound of mud and vegetation. A chick will typically hatch within 11 weeks. Wandering albatrosses nest on the Crozet Island for long periods. Studies have revealed albatrosses nest on the Crozet island, not for weeks or months, but for 50 years.

Do you know that the wandering albatross can continue flying over oceans without touching the surface of the land for an average range of five to six years? The wandering albatross climbs into the air from the ocean's surface and soars high into the sky, flying without flapping its wings. Do you know that these wandering albatrosses also serve as a sentinel on southern oceans? They aid in controlling illegal fishing on the southern sea as they can be seen approaching a ship fishing. Therefore illegal fishing can be easily avoided on southern seas with the help of these albatrosses.

Suppose you enjoy reading about the wandering albatross wingspan and are looking for other exciting animal facts. In that case, you can read about how fast does a hummingbird flap its wings and more amazing animal information on birds' wings.

How big are albatrosses' wingspans?

Wandering albatrosses have the longest wingspan in the entire world today. Its wingspan is wider than that of any living bird today.

The wandering albatross is a giant bird of the genus Diomedea. Its wingspan is so huge that it can glide in the air for long hours without flapping its wings. The wandering white-winged albatross wingspan is 8.2-11.5 ft (2.4-3.5 m). The mean wingspan size of these birds from various islands is 10.2 ft (3.1 m). The largest wingspan of adults of the white-winged albatross group of species was reported, though unverified, at 17.5 ft (5.3 m).

How big is a wandering albatross, not including its wingspan?

The wingspan of a white-winged albatross bird is measured as the distance from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other wing.

The shape of the wing and the wingspan are anatomical adaptations for flight. If the wings are long and narrow in shape, they can be stable in the air and thus help the bird fly over long distances at a uniform speed. On the contrary, short and broad wings are used to change directions quickly.

Wandering albatross adults measure 3.5–4.4 ft (1-1.3 m) in length without their wings. Females of the albatross Diomedea exulans species are smaller than males. Wandering snowy albatross adults are much bigger than a 6 ft (1.8 m) man. Adult wandering albatrosses body weight 13-28 lb (5.8-12.7 kg). Bird biometrics also reveal that the albatross Diomedea exulans bird's body weight is 14-26.3 lb (6.3-11.9 kg).

What bird has the longest wingspan?

The length measurement between the wings' tips when they are fully extended is known as the wingspan.

The wandering albatross bird's longest wingspan measures 3.5–4.4 ft (1-1.3 m) in length. Snowy albatross birds belonging to the Diomedea exulans species have the longest wingspan. There have been unverified reports of two giant snowy albatross birds with wingspans measuring 13.8 ft (4.2 m) and 17.5 ft (5.3 m).

What is the wingspan of a wandering albatross?

The wingspan of the wandering albatross has been a topic of interest for experts around the world. There have been many reports on biometrics of the famous wandering albatross wingspan.

The wingspan of the wandering albatross is the largest, even longer than the wingspan of any bird. According to verified findings, the wingspan of the wandering albatross is 3.5–4.4 ft (1-1.3 m) in length. The large wingspan helps the albatross glide in the air for long periods.

Look at the wandering albatross in all its splendor.

Wandering Albatross Physical Characteristics

Physical characteristics of a bird refer to its physical appearance, color, plumage, size, wingspan, and all factors that make up the overall appearance during the bird's life.

The white-winged albatross has the largest wingspan globally at 3.5–4.4 ft (1-1.3 m) in length, more extensive than the wingspan of any bird. The adult albatross bird weighs 13-28 lb (5.8-12.7 kg). It is the whitest of the albatross species. Males are whiter than females. Other albatross birds from different species have black or brown colored wings and body. The large bill and feet of the wandering albatross are pink in color.

Studies reveal that male white-winged albatross birds are whiter with snow-colored wings as compared to females. Trailing edges of the wings may have a black color. A faint peach colored spot can be seen on the side of the head. The natural plumage of the wandering albatross changes according to the age of the bird.

Juvenile albatross birds are chocolate brown, and they become whiter as they age during their life. Sometimes, a natural pink and yellow stain may be seen on the bird's neck, indicating a highly saline solution excreted by the snowy albatross bird from its nasal passage. These birds feed on floating debris and follow huge shipments to eat their garbage on the ocean. Their food diet includes fish and birds.

Albatross vs Wandering Albatross Wingspan

The albatrosses population belongs to the family Diomedeidae and is related to the order Procellariiformes. Albatrosses are very popular for their large size and for having the largest wingspan. Experts study them for their unique ability to fly long distances while utilizing very little energy.

They can soar very high and stay aloft on the wind without flapping their wings. Albatross birds are carnivores and feed on small fish, krill, and squid from the sea. Hunting is done by following the odor of prey. The IUCN has listed around 22 species, and they have been listed at different levels of concern by the conservation. Their wingspan is the largest at 11.2 ft (3.4 m). Studies on albatross vs. wandering albatross wingspan on bird islands and South Georgia Island reveal that all these albatross birds increase their speed when flying against the wind above the sea.

The most giant wandering albatrosses, with a wingspan of a whopping 3.5-4.4 ft (1-1.3 m), flapped their wings infrequently and they flapped their wings only when in light wind. On the other hand, albatrosses with a smaller wingspan of 5.7 ft (1.73 m) flapped their wings more to help them glide over the sea. These albatross birds prefer to fly at lower levels than wandering albatross birds that soared to higher levels above the sea. Moreover, fledglings on the South Georgia Island were found to weigh 24 lb (10.8 kg) and were smaller in size compared to other birds of the albatross Diomedea exulans species at 13-28 lb (5.8-12.7 kg).

How fast do wandering albatrosses fly?

The feeding habits of the wandering albatross are described as similar to that of vultures as they hunt their prey using olfactory senses, and they may be seen swooping down on the surface of the sea to hunt for their food.

It is a spectacular sight to behold the wandering albatross swoop down to Earth for feeding on its prey and flying away at great speed. Sometimes they may be seen feeding on fish, but their main diet is squid, cuttlefish, and octopus. Fishing is illegal on southern oceans, and it is not easy to keep guard. The flight speed of a bird on the sea is measured by the radar method.

Wandering albatrosses can fly as fast as 24.85 mph (40 kph). These large birds have two tube-like structures on either side of their bill which facilitate air flight. These tube-like structures can be compared to pilot tubes in modern aircraft. Albatrosses utilize these unique soaring techniques to fly over southern oceans, and they regularly circle the globe.

How many wandering albatrosses are there today?

Wandering albatrosses feed perennially in the Kaikoura Peninsula and are widespread in southern oceans. The Diomedea species of the wandering albatross is being continuously threatened, as stated by the IUCN.

Various organizations are involved in the conservation of the population of these wandering albatrosses. These albatrosses breed on the South Georgia Island, where the breeding population of the wandering albatross birds was 1,553 pairs in the year 2006. Evidence suggests a decrease of 4% per year on these islands. Compared to the South Georgia Island, on Prince Edward Island, the number of bird pairs that breed has been recorded at an average of 1,850 pairs at a stable rate in 2003.

In the year 2008, wandering albatrosses on the Marion Islands were found to be an average of 1,600 pairs. A declining trend of 1,100 pairs of wandering albatrosses was observed in 1997 on the Kerguelen Islands. Only 10 pairs of the wandering albatross species were found on the Macquarie Islands in the year 2006. These observations calculated to a total number of 26,000 wandering albatross birds with a decreasing population average trend of -30% over the past 70 years. These conclusions were recorded in the year 2007.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for wandering albatross wingspan, then why not take a look at the biggest bird wingspan or what is a baby hedgehog called.

Written By
Deepthi Reddy

A content writer, travel enthusiast, and mother of two kids (12 and 7), Deepthi Reddy is an MBA graduate who has finally struck the right chord in writing. The joy of learning new things and the art of writing creative articles gave her immense happiness, which helped her write with more perfection. Articles about travel, movies, people, animals and birds, pet care, and parenting are a few of the topics written by her. Traveling, food, learning about new cultures, and movies have always interested her, but now her passion for writing is also added to the list.

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