Several species of albatross migrate to the Antarctic and subantarctic.
The Wandering albatross, identified by their white bodies, wedge-shaped tails and long pink beaks, can be found across the Southern Ocean over Antarctic, subantarctic and subtropical waters. They breed only once over two years, heading to Antarctic and subantarctic islands such as South Georgia, Macquarie and Iles Kerguelen. Though they stick closer to home during breeding season, the wandering albatross can venture off for up to 50 days at a time on foraging trips.
The Light-mantled sooty albatross, a smaller albatross once known as “Blue Bird” by 19th century sealers for their blue-tinted plumage, can often be found on Macquarie Island, where around 1,000 pairs next every year.
The Black-browed albatross received their name for the prominent black eyebrow contrasting to their white bodies. They can be found throughout Antarctic, subantarctic and sub-tropical waters. However, they prefer to breed on Antarctic and subantarctic islands such as Heard, Macquarie, Iles Kerguelen, the McDonald Islands and the Falkland Islands. Over 85% of the black-browed albatross population can be found on the Falkland Islands, their most significant breeding grounds.
The aptly named Grey-headed albatross has a blue-grey head and neck, a white body and a dark grey tail and back. They breed on many subantarctic islands with the largest populations on South Georgia, Macquarie and Campbell Islands. Grey-headed albatrosses remain over subantarctic waters throughout the year, where they feast on the sea surface with a diet of fish, squid and crustaceans.