The Laysan Albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis, is a large seabird that ranges across the North Pacific. This small (for its family) albatross is the second most common seabird in the Hawaiian Islands, with an estimated population of 2.5 million birds, and is currently expanding (or possibly re-expanding) its range to new islands. It is named for Laysan, one of its breeding colonies in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.Description The Laysan Albatross is usually easy to identify, in the North Pacific it is simple to separate from the other relatively common albatross, the all black Black-footed Albatross. It can be distinguished from the very rare Short-tailed Albatross by its all dark back and smaller size. The Laysan Albatross' plumage has been compared to that of a gull, two tone with a dark grey mantle and wings, and white underside and head.












 
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The Laysan Albatross has a wide range across the North Pacific. Its main breeding colonies are in the Hawaiian Islands, particularly the islands of Midway and Laysan. It also nests in the Bonin Islands near Japan, and has recently began to colonize islands off Mexico, such as Guadalupe Island. When away from the breeding areas they range widely from Japan to Alaska and down to california, but usually far offshore.
The Laysan Albatross is colonial, nesting on scattered small islands and atolls, often in huge numbers. They also have a protracted breeding cycle. Juvenile birds return to the colony three years after fledging, but will not mate for the first time until they are seven or eight years old. over these four or five years they form pair bonds with a mate that they will keep for life. Courtship entails especially elaborate 'dances' that have up to 25 ritualised movements.

Above Pictures Come From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service





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