Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Black-browed AlbatrossDiomedea melanophris
Local Name: Mollymawk
Breeding Range: Circumpolar on subantarctic islands
Falklands Population: 550,000 breeding pairs
World Population: 650,000 breeding pairs
The Black-browed Albatross breeds in dense colonies on steep cliffs at 16 sites in the Falklands. Adults pair for life and return to use the same pot-shaped nest each September, laying a large single egg in October which hatches in December. Chicks remain in the nest until they are ready to fledge in early April. Adults feed on fish, squid, octopus, crustaceans and jellyfish. In some areas they are drawn towards discards from fishing fleets, which puts them at risk of being killed on long-line fishing hooks. Breeding sites are abandoned from May until September as birds migrate northwards towards Uruguay, an area where many birds die from being caught by fishing vessels. Sexes are similar in appearance. Adults do not breed until 7 years of age, but can continue breeding until 35 years of age.