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Black-footed Albatross - Phoebastria nigripes
Photo by Rich Stallcup

The Black-footed Albatross is a large seabird with a stout body, a large head, and a somewhat elongated neck. They have exceptionally long and narrow wings, which gives them their characteristic gliding flight. They are almost completely dark in color except for white areas around some individual's bills and undertails. The Black-footed Albatross rarely approaches land, unless for breeding. They do not dive but pick up squid and fish at the surface when they're sitting down on the water.

Black-footed Albatross
(Phoebastria nigripes)

North Pacific from Alaska to Baja California; breeds in Western Pacific islands

They live at sea and breed on remote oceanic islands or inaccessible islets

Mostly fish, squid, and crustaceans


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
In the past, albatross were hunted for their feathers. Sailors used to make pipes out of their hollow bones, and tobacco pouches from the webbing of their feet.

Learn More
- Duke University
- Seattle Audubon Society
- BirdLife International