Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos)

Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross

[order] PROCELLARIIFORMES | [family] Diomedeidae | [latin] Thalassarche chlororhynchos | [authority] Gmelin, 1789 | [UK] Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross | [FR] Albatros a bec jaune | [DE] Gelbnasen-Albatros | [ES] Albatros Clororrinco | [NL] Geelneusalbatros


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Thalassarche chlororhynchos AO Tristan da Cunha group


Albatrosses are the ‘largest’ birds in terms of wingspan. Royal Abatrosses, for instance, may reach a wing span of almost 3.5m, which make them look like feathered sail plaines. They are also the largest members of the tubenose family. Only the smallest albatross species are equalled in size by the Giant Petrels (Macronectes). Albatrosses occur in all oceans, except the northern part of the Atlantic. In ancient times they were also present in that part of the world, but nowadays only an occasional straggler find its way to the North Atlantic. Most of the 24 species are Southern Hemisphere breeders, only three actually breed north of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.
Albatross taxonomy is subject of discussion for a long time, and has been at times rather chaotic. Based on external characters: plumage patterns, tail shapes, bill structure (size, organization of the plates and coloration) albatrosses were, until recently, divided in 13-14 species in four ‘natural groups’: the Great Albatrosses, the Mollymawks, the North Pacific Albatrosses, grouped in the genus Diomedea and the Sooty Albatrosses Phoebastria. More recently DNA-analyses supports the division in four distinct groups but the were elevated to a generic status and has led to a splitting into 24 species: Great Albatrosses Diomedea (7 species), the Northern (Pacific) Albatrosses Phoebastria (4 species), the southern Mollymawks Thalassarche (11 species) and the Sooty Albatrosses Phoebetria (2 species). Recently this taxonomy is challenged by who proposed to lump some of the ‘species’ again based on their molecular analysis. Since then the discussion flared up and has not ended yet. Some list six species of Great Albatrosses, including two subspecies of Antipodian Albatross.

Physical charateristics

Females are readily distinguishable by a broad band of dull yellowish crossing the breast
and forming a marked contrast to the grayish throat and abdomen. The male has a bright yellow forehead, is all dark blue above with a blackish chest and bright yellow underparts.

wingspan min.: 200 cm wingspan max.: 203 cm
size min.: 81 cm size max.: 83 cm
incubation min.: 71 days incubation max.: 72 days
fledging min.: 96 days fledging max.: 98 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Atlantic Ocean : Tristan da Cunha group


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest. This bird lives in pairs or in small groups, sometimes following mixed-species flocks in the canopies and along the edges of rain forests. It is difficult to observe because it spends most of its time perched high up in the canopy.


Builds a ball of moss with a side entrance 3-20 meters above ground. Clutch size is 3-5 eggs.

Feeding habits

Feeds alone or in small groups for fruit and berries high up in the canopy.


This species is listed as Endangered as it has a very small breeding range and is estimated to be undergoing a very rapid ongoing decline projected over three generations (72 years) owing to incidental mortality in longline fisheries.
It is found in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross status Endangered


Sedentary throughout range

Distribution map

Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross distribution range map

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