Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)


Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri)


French: Albatros de Carter German: Kerguelen-Gelbnasenalbatros Spanish: Albatros clororrinco pacífico

Thalassogeron carteri


, 1903,

Point Cloates, west Australia


Until recently considered conspecific with T. chlororhynchos; genetic distance slight#R, but differs in its much-reduced blackish triangular patch in front of and around eye (2); paler grey face and ear-coverts (1); white cap extending to hindcrown vs mid-crown (2); yellow line atop bill tapering to point vs broadening and rounded at base#R#R (ns); shorter wing (based on published data#R, effect size −1.26, score 1) but longer bill (0.97, score 1). This form previously listed as race bassi, while carteri was considered a synonym of chlororhynchos; but examination of specimens revealed that bassi and carteri were referable to the same taxon, for which latter name has priority#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S Indian Ocean, breeding on Prince Edward, Crozet, Kerguelen, Amsterdam and St Paul Is.

Descriptive notes

71–81 cm; 2490–2930 g; wingspan 180–215 cm. Small, slightly built albatross, with very pale grey head and nape, grey mantle, upperwings and tail, white... read more


Wailing and croaking calls, the former mainly given by males and the latter by both sexes. No... read more


Marine and pelagic, though occurs inshore in places. Breeds on remote oceanic islands, occupying... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly cephalopods (Moroteuthis, Kondakovia, Ommastrephidae, e.g. Todarodes filippovae) and fish (Cypselurus... read more


Annual, with birds returning to colony from Aug (but mainly in Sept), 16–18 days prior to egg-laying, which mainly occurs between 18 Sept... read more


Disperses over S Indian Ocean mainly between 3° S and 49° S, and is reasonably abundant off S... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. World population estimated at 36,500 pairs and 160,000–180,000 individuals in 1980s and 1990s, and most recently at 41,580 pairs per year, equating to 83,160... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri). 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 19 February 2020).