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Procellariiformes > Diomedeidae

Royal Albatross

Diomedea epomophora

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Identification

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Huge albatross of the Southern Ocean; breeds in New Zealand, but circles the globe on its travels. Always appears clean black-and-white with a white tail (or with small black markings); never has dirty brownish markings on head and body or a mostly black tail as seen on many Wandering Albatrosses. At close range, note the diagnostic narrow black “lips” on bill, lacking on Wandering. Two distinct populations: Northern Royal Albatross has solidly black upperwings contrasting with white back and adult Southern Royal Albatross has white forewings, but immature has dark upperwings much like Northern Royal, but with narrower white leading edge.

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Learn more about Royal Albatross from…

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America