Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)


Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora)


French: Albatros royal German: Südkönigsalbatros Spanish: Albatros real meridional
Other common names: Royal Albatross (when lumped with D. sanfordi)

Diomedaea [sic] epomophora


, 1825,

no locality; probably Australian waters


Until recently was normally considered conspecific with D. sanfordi (which see). Monotypic.


Southern Ocean, breeding on Campbell I and Auckland Is.

Descriptive notes

107–122 cm; male c. 8100–10,300 g, female 6520–9000 g; wingspan 290–351 cm. Large white albatross with variable amount of blackish on upperwing,... read more


Yapping croaks and whining calls, with no significant differences between present species and D... read more


Marine, but apparently less pelagic than D. exulans. Nests on remote islands, typically on... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly cephalopods (at least 38 species, especially onychoteuthids, Moroteuthopsis ingens, Kondakovia longimana, ... read more


Biennial, starting Oct with return to colonies, egg-laying 20 Nov–28 Dec (median date 3 Dec, c. 3 weeks later than D. sanfordi... read more


Disperses widely over Southern Ocean after breeding, though only infrequently penetrates Antarctic... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Considerable decline in past, though species has probably been largely stable or recovering slightly since mid 1980s; world population c. 27,200 birds, with bulk... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora). 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 October 2019).