Albatrosses are known for their incredible wingspans and flying ability. New Zealand is a true hot spot for the seabirds, with nearly half of the world's 22 albatross species breeding here.
Here are some things you might not know about albatrosses.
The Māori name for albatrosses is toroa. Traditionally Māori have a strong connection to the albatross and particularly valued their white feathers.
2. Mythical birds
Many sea-faring people have myths and superstitions about albatrosses. The idea that killing an albatross will bring bad luck was popularised by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in 1798.
Medium-sized albatross species are sometimes called mollymawks. This is said to derive from a Dutch word for ‘foolish gull’.
4. On camera
While New Zealand is home to several species of albatross, the only mainland colony is of Northern Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula. You can watch them up close through the albatross cam.
5. Mate for life
Albatrosses are long-lived, and mate for life. Although spending long time alone out at sea, they always return to the same nesting site and partner at breeding time.