Albatross have the longest wingspan of any bird, which they use to ride the ocean winds. They can glide above the watery surface for hours without as much as a flap of their wings. While the Laysan albatross boasts the most iconic look, the black-footed albatross is one you may have a better chance of spotting in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
While they nest primarily on the Hawaiian Islands, black-footed albatross sail across the Pacific and fly along our California coasts for several months of the year.
Like other albatross species, and many birds, black-footed albatross mate for life. They have a long courting period that can last 2-3 years before they mate. Before mating, albatross engage in a ritual “dance” in which they coil their necks, flap their wings, shake their heads, and touch bills. It’s truly an impressive sight to see!