Albatrosses – mates for life
It's nearing mid-summer in Antarctica but Bird Island is still cold, damp and windy. Wildlife cameraman John Aitchison ventures out onto a grassy hill to peek into the lives of the wandering albatrosses that gather here to breed, whatever the weather.
Albatrosses pair for life but spend much of their lives gliding above the Southern Ocean. So does absence make the heart grow fonder if you’re an albatross?
John Aitchison discovers how albatross mates keep their bond
Bird Island was named by explorer James Cook because of the large number of birds he saw there. Wandering albatrosses aren’t the only birds to breed here. Petrels, prions, fulmars, and shearwaters are amongst the birds found on the island, not to mention that most famous of Antarctic birds, the penguin. Explorer Matt Swarbrick came across Masses of macaroni penguins breeding in a colony on the island’s rocky coastline.
British Antarctic Survey scientists have satellite tagged a pair of wandering albatrosses on Bird Island. Find out where they go when foraging for food and follow the albatross adventure with weekly updates.
Published 31 March 2009