Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)

Critically Endangered

Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata)


French: Albatros des Galapagos German: Galapagosalbatros Spanish: Albatros de Galápagos

Diomedea irrorata


, 1883,

Callao Bay, Peru


Earlier name Diomedea leptorhyncha officially suppressed. This species thought to be possibly one of the earliest albatross forms to diverge from common ancestor. Monotypic.


EC Pacific Ocean, breeding on Española I (in Galapagos) and on La Plata I, off Ecuador.

Descriptive notes

80–93 cm; male 3750 g (± 320 g), female 3040 g (± 170 g); wingspan 220–250 cm. Long-billed albatross with unique combination of brown body and... read more


Displaying birds give Croaks, Yaps and prolonged Sky-calls.


Marine and mainly pelagic, but may approach coast in zone of Humboldt Current. Only albatross... read more

Food and feeding

Apparently mainly scavenges dead prey. Large fish and squid taken from water surface; also feeds on crustaceans. Squid fed to chicks... read more


Annual breeder, although females that bred successfully tend to start later in following season, while failed breeders commence earlier.... read more


Birds from Galapagos leave islands Jan–Mar, dispersing E & S to waters of Humboldt... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Previously considered Near Threatened. Population estimated at c. 12,000 breeding pairs in 1971, then 18,200 in 1994, with perhaps 50,000–70,000... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata). 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 18 June 2019).