Profile of a waved albatross

Waved albatross

Waved albatrosses spend most of their lives at sea, but come ashore to breed on the Galápagos Islands. These are the largest birds to be found on the archipelago, and they mate for life; a relationship which begins with an elaborate display of circling, bowing. Each year a pair hatch one egg, and after a mere 167 days, this chick will leave the nest to spend the next 6 years at sea, before it returns as an adult to the islands once more.

Scientific name: Phoebastria irrorata

Rank: Species

Common names:

Galápagos albatross

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Waved albatross can be found in a number of locations including: Galápagos. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Waved albatross distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Critically Endangered

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Tubenoses
  6. Albatrosses
  7. Phoebastria
  8. Waved albatross

Elsewhere on the BBC