Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)

Near Threatened

Light-mantled Albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata)


French: Albatros fuligineux German: Graumantelalbatros Spanish: Albatros tiznado
Other common names: Light-mantled Sooty Albatross

Diomedea palpebrata

J. R. Forster

, 1785,

south of Prince Edward and Marion Islands


Formerly regarded as conspecific with P. fusca, but differences in courtship display and timing of breeding prevent interbreeding in areas of sympatry. Four subspecies described, but all, including huttoni (from New Zealand area), subsequently found to be invalid. Monotypic.


Circumpolar in Southern Ocean, breeding from South Georgia E to Campbell I and Antipodes Is.

Descriptive notes

78–93 cm; male 2800–3360 g, female 2620–3700 g; wingspan 183–232 cm. Long, narrow, pointed wings and long, wedge-shaped tail distinguish present... read more


Main vocalization is bisyllabic Sky-call given on or close to nest-site, with head and bill held... read more


Marine and pelagic, generally in much colder waters than P. fusca. Breeds on remote... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly cephalopods (e.g. Moroteuthis ingens, Psychroteuthis glacialis, Kondakovia longimana, Teuthowenia... read more


Biennial, when successful, with breeding achieved in following season by 59% of failed pairs; starts Sept/Oct (e.g. arrives first week of... read more


Disperses widely over Southern Ocean, ranging from pack ice N to c. 33° S, reaching c. 20°... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Australian populations ranked as Endangered on national list. In late 1980s, world population was tentatively... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Light-mantled Albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata). 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 16 September 2019).