Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)

Near Threatened

Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes)


French: Albatros à pieds noirs German: Schwarzfußalbatros Spanish: Albatros patinegro

Diomedea nigripes


, 1839,

Pacific Ocean, latitude 30° 44’ N, longitude 146° W


Known to have hybridized with P. immutabilis. Two breeding populations geographically well separated (despite overlap in at-sea distributions), and perhaps reproductively isolated; study required#R. Monotypic.


N Pacific Ocean, breeding in W Hawaii; small numbers breed also in Izu Is, Bonin Is and S Ryukyu Is (Senkaku Is), to S of Japan.

Descriptive notes

68–82 cm; male c. 2600–4300 g, female c. 2600–3600 g; wingspan 193–220 cm. Relatively small and dark, recalling Phoebetria, but with proportions of... read more


Varied, includes a doubled “ha-ha, ha-ha”, a Sky-groan with the bill held upwards (“uuwoouu”), a... read more


Marine and pelagic, seldom approaching land except at colonies. Breeds on mid ocean islands on the... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fish and fish offal, including the following species Prionace glauca, Sagamichthyes abei, Electrona risso... read more


Annual, starting Nov, with birds returning mid Oct, a pre-egg period of 18–21 days of which 2–17 days are spent at sea, eggs... read more


Disperses widely over N Pacific after breeding, regularly reaching as far N as Bering Sea; fairly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened, and previously, Vulnerable. Has declined in numbers over past decades and some colonies have been lost, e.... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Jutglar, F. (2020). Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).