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.
Authors: Pickering, S.P.C., Berrow, S.D.
1 January, 2001
Marine Ornithology / 29