Courtship behaviour of the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans at Bird Island, South Georgia

The behaviour postures and their sequences during courtship displays of the Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans at South Georgia are described. Females initiated most display bouts, which began with a series of greetings. The core of the display consisted of a rapid sequence of head movements, snaps, ritualized preening and vocalisations. Most display bouts ended when the female walked away, although in 25% of cases the birds sat together on the male’s nest site. An underlying basic sequence was common to both sexes although there were differences in responses to the partner’s behaviour. Courtship behaviour was very similar to that described for Wandering Albatrosses breeding in the Indian Ocean.


Publication status:
Authors: Pickering, S.P.C., Berrow, S.D.

1 January, 2001
Marine Ornithology / 29