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Featured article Albatross is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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October 16, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
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Initial discussion[edit]

Taxonomy is a nightmare at the moment with the AOU moving faster than the rest of the World towards a major revision. Until a consensus reforms, I think that all we can do is try to reflect the main strands of thought.

On the other hand, the BOU has been very quickly out of the blocks in terms of splitting the albatross group, and moving the Galloanseriformes to the start of the Neoaves list.

With regard to this article, I think it will need splitting fairly soon to a generic article on albatrosses and separate species accounts. Ill do it when I get timejimfbleak 10:24 Mar 29, 2003 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable, Jim. I'm not really up to speed on seabirds, but on checking the sources I have here I see that it looks as though the AOU has gone out on a limb with them. The latest official South African, and also the Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic lists have them as Procellariiformes, family Diomedeidae. Given that they are, in broad, Southern Hemisphere birds, it would be silly to ignore that. The South Africans seem to agree with the BOU, but the HANZAB list still has two genera. I suggest that we go with the South Africans & British on this one. I'll adjust the taxobox to suit in a little while. Tannin 12:27 Mar 29, 2003 (UTC)

How about something about Moby Dick. Doesn't albratross also mean an obstacle in your way to success?

I added a nice Royal Albatross picture from the colony in NZ in "Albatrosses and Culture", near the line that talks about it (the colony). Cause everyone likes more albatross pictures. Albatrossish 23:54, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Charles Baudelaire wrote a poem featuring albatrosses, didn't he? Here's the link to the poem, l'Albatros. Since Samuel Coleridge has been mentioned in the "Albatrosses and humans/Albatrosses and culture" section, why not this poem? Frigoris 06:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sleep and glide for six days?[edit]

I just read an odd fact...

"Albatrosses can glide for six days without flapping their wings and sleep at the same time. About 100,000 albatrosses are killed each year by fishermen, about a third of whom are pirates."

Had a little look for another source but couldn't find one - is this really true? violet/riga (t) 21:04, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

LOL! "about a third of whome are pirates". Just how many pirates are there in fact these days, I wonder? And to glide for six days... without flapping their wings... this is laughable. Even if albatross flew very high and glided much the way that planes do, there is nothing that indicates why there should be a 6 day limit. Either they would be able to do it endlessly, or they would have to flap every now and then to either fly higher, lower, or avoid cloud, etc. It sounds like nonsense to me. Rfwoolf 17:23, 18 March 2007 (UTC)


In the header it's mentioned that albatrosses have the largest wingspan of all birds, but no average figure is given. --FermatSim 19:46, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I planned to get round to that, thanks for the reminder. I don't know an avarage for the family, but ther great albatrosses have a maximum wingspan of 351cm. I should get round to working on the morphology section this weekend some time. Sabine's Sunbird 00:36, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Flavour (Albatross in Culture)[edit]

As the very famous Monty Python sketch asked, What flavour is it? But seriously, it would be nice to have a section on albatross apearance in the media (as in related documtaries and films). Perhaps this could be made ointo a seperate article.

I think that the way it's handled now is great, and a model for other pages to do pop culture references. Instead of an "include my favorite program too!" style bulk list I see way too often, it's a nice, brief paragraph which doesn't just list programs, but tries to detail the culture and meaning behind the references. I also like how it briefly mentions very popular series (Monty Python, Serenity) in a way which is not "fan-boy", but will hopefully in a way such that adhearants will be satisfied enough that they won't feel the need to add a "fan-boy" type statements -- the article is about albatrosses, not Monty Python/Serenity. To the person who wrote the section: I think you deserve a barnstar. :) 14:50, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! :) That is certainly what I was aiming for; when I first started on this page there were lots of the lists you mentioned. Incidentally, to answer the original question, I can not find a description of what albatrosses taste like, although they were widely eaten in the past and other petrels are considered quite tasty. Albatross eggs are described as very palatable but taking a long time to boil! Sabine's Sunbird talk 16:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. There are some articles without this section that need it, because they do have pop culture references. Bob the Phoenix 14:52, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Also, why can't I put info on the character from Sonic Riders? I read in the summary that it was replaced with a more "well-known" one. Isn't the Sonic franchise popular enough? Bob the Phoenix 22:55, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Re "Albatross in Culture"- In the film "The Sea Hawk" with Errol Flynn, the Albatross is the name of Capt. Thorpe (Flynn)'s ship. It's an appropriate name because of the birds reputaton, not just because of its size but also it's maneurverability. There's a reference in the film, in a battle scene when the helmsman(?) says something like 'the Albatross is not a ship you can just run away from'.Dcrasno (talk) 01:22, 7 January 2013 (UTC)


The etymology is patently wrong. The proposed arabic word is obviously not arabic at all. I'm not 100% clear on the correct etymology, but according to my Random House/Webster dictionary the arabic root is al-ghattaas (I don't know how to write arabic in wikipedia, the 't' is actually a "taw" and the 's' is a "saad". The double a is an aliph. The arabic word refers to "a kind of sea eagle". Apparently it came into english converting the 'gh' (ghain) to a 'b' via similarity to the latin 'albus' for 'white' which is the color of the bird. (Again, according to the Random House/Webster.) Unfortunately, that isn't quite right either. The Random House/Webster claims it comes from the arabic 'diver'. What they apparently meant was 'ghattaas' -- it is a 'siin', not a 'saad' (from Al-Mawrad, Arabic-English). According to Hans Wehr (Arabic-English) the root 'ghts' (again, a taw) means to dip, plung or immerse. A diver (according to Hans Wehr) is ghattaas, whether man or bird. In the entire entry for derivations of the root, albatross is not mentioned.

"Albatross" in Al-Mawrad (English-Arabic) is given as 'al-qatras' (the 't' is again actually a 'taw'. With a definition of 'big sea bird'.

Tim Doty

The etymology was derived from albatross books, not from dictionaries. What I didn't include was that the word came to Arabic from Greek. However, it isn't my area of expertise (nor that of albatross specialists), so you are probably rightSabine's Sunbird 09:24, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I've rolled back the incorrect ordering of the albatross species - taxonomica, not alpha jimfbleak 15:18, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I also modified a few species names and added some, such as T. carteri, in addition to doing the incorrect order. Someone may want to check if those species corrections I made were valid (minus the ordering). Phaldo 19:09, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The vexed question of which species to include was touched on the in the peer review (you can read the archived review at the top of the page). The species you added has is generally considered a subspecies by most authorities. There needs to be a full discusssion as to which species to include, but I haven't gotten around to starting that yet. Sabine's Sunbird 09:24, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Removed line[edit]

I removed the following line from the introduction. They even sleep in flight. I have heard this several times from unofficial sources but have not actually seen it in a journal or ornithology book,it smacks of a myth. It seems unlikely that they could, unlike birds that do (like swifts) they fly very close to the surface of water and the control needed suggests strongly they'd be awake to fly like that. Sabine's Sunbird 16:42, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Some improvement suggestions[edit]

None of the following should prevent FA status being conferred but as I was reviewing it anyway to assess the FA nomination, I thought I'd note these down.

  1. "The albatrosses are seabirds in the family Diomedeidae" is potentially a little ambiguous; it could mean "The term albatross is synonymous with 'bird in the family Diomedeidae'", or "Albatrosses are some of the members of the family Diomedeidae"
  2. "Breeding pairs form over several years" - does this mean it takes a male albatross several years to convince a female albatross to become its mate, or something else?
  3. Can the sentence "A breeding season can take over a year from laying to fledging, with a single egg laid in each breeding season." be written in such a way as to avoid using the term breeding season twice?
  4. Can we wikilink long-line fisheries to some appropriate article
  5. first paragraph "great albatrosses" could perhaps be in quotes, termed "so-called", Wikilinked to a great albatross page, or clarified in the same way we clarify the term tubenoses a few sentences before
  6. "Of the four genera, the North Pacific albatrosses are considered to be a sister taxon to the great albatrosses, while the sooty albatrosses are considered closer to the mollymawks" - I think I can visualise the tree, but not 100% sure; I think I can reword this to give an unambiguous description of the tree if someone tells me what the tree looks like
  7. Taxonomy & evolution 3rd paragraph - 1852 split - by whom?
  8. Taxonomy & evolution 3rd paragraph - can we wikilink the no-longer-used genus names as redirects to the genera they've been subsumed into, and make mention of the names in those articles
  9. Taxonomy & evolution 4th paragraph - it could be stated more clearly that the view that sooties are primitive is now known to be incorrect
  10. Taxonomy & evolution 4th paragraph - maybe "rearranged" would be a better word than "split"
  11. The intro to the species list (and anywhere else where we say "number of species") ought to make clear that we're talking about extant species only (we're not including P. anglica, for instance)
  12. Morphology & flight first paragraph - "amongst" the largest - are they not THE largest? If not, can we say why?
  13. Morphology & flight first paragraph - walking ability is not unique if the Giant petrels can do it too
  14. Morphology & flight second paragraph, first sentence - grammar
  15. Morphology & flight second paragraph - surely the appearance of the sooty albatrosses is the extreme, not Amsterdam?
  16. Morphology & flight second paragraph - is there a "yellow" albatross?
  17. Morphology & flight second paragraph last sentence - is Light-mantled Sooty all black?
  18. Morphology & flight third paragraph - Can we wikilink glide ratio to some appropriate article?
  19. Distribution and range at sea second paragraph - "submerged the Short-tailed Albatross colony" conjures up the image of the albatrosses themselves suddenly vanishing between the waves - I presume we mean the colony site?
  20. Distribution and range at sea second paragraph - do we know whether any species other than Black-browed has ever been "exiled"?
  21. Breeding fourth paragraph - can we wikilink pair bond to ome appropriate article?
  22. Breeding fourth paragraph - albatrosses lay a single egg - presumably per pair per season?

There are one or two places where I think we sail a little close to the wind on NPOV - the word "important" is usually the troublemaker.

Finally, a brisk whizz through to add sources for all as-yet-unsourced statements wouldn't go amiss (and for sources where a whole book is cited, giving a page number would be sensible). SP-KP 20:47, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Reply to comments[edit]

  • 3 - done.
  • 16 - yes, both the Laysan Albatross and the Short-tailed Albatross have yellow plumage on their heads and nape.
  • 20 - yes, a few. As in most of the article I haven't given every example when illustrating a point, simply an example or two. Along with a few others vagrancy in albatross is a strong contender from a breakout article.
  • 22 it's unlikely a male would lay. But I'll try and make it clearer.

Everything else seems to be valid points I'll try and address tomorrow. I don't think there is a glide ratio article or a long line fisheries article, valid potential articles for sure but beyond my scope for research. As for referencing, I'll refernce some more but I cannot do page numbers for Tickell's book as it was a library book I loaned back in California and can no longer access it. Sabine's Sunbird talk 21:02, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

just to come back on a couple of these:
  • 16: the article says "Several species of [albatross] ... are grey or yellow instead of white"; I appreciate that some are partially yellow, but this phrasing could be taken to mean there is at least one all-yellow albatross.
  • 20: I guess the point I'm making is that "exiled" could be taken to mean "doomed never to make it home". I know that Black-broweds have ened up in that predicament but I thought that all other species found up here have only ever been one-off sightings i.e. they could have made it back down south

I'll see if I can create at least a stub for each of the two articles above. SP-KP 21:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

16&20 - gotcha, bad english on my part, and I misreading you. I'm tired, sorry. I'll deal with it all tomorrow. Sabine's Sunbird talk 21:37, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Just to let you know, glide ratio and longline fishing exist SP-KP 08:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Thanks. Here is a simplified version of the albatross family tree. I whipped it up based on Nunn's 1996 paper, not sure if it is good enough for the article. Sabine's Sunbird talk 09:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Albatross phylogeny.jpg

This looks good enough to add in. Also - I've created an article called List of albatross breeding locations and linked to it in the distribution section; comments appreciated. SP-KP 12:51, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Hokay, I have addressed each and every one of your points, except for 8. I will go and figure out which old genera led to which species, but I think that a better place to have them redirect to and have all that information will be the forthcoming article on albatross taxonomy. I will need to do that article because I have condensed the taxonomy section as much as possible while still jkeeping it readable and if I add much more information it will outweigh everything else in the article. There is, as you know, a great deal more than can be said. So I'll create the redirects then (when, among other things, I have time to follow the pea under the cup.). Everything else is dandy now, added the tree, the links, and am now going to try and expand (a little) the section on the number of species. I looked at List of albatross breeding locations, I added some sites and will add a lot more from Brooke, but maybe the page would look better as a table? Sabine's Sunbird talk 13:39, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Good stuff - I'll take a read through later - just one other minor thing I spotted - the Penhallurick paper actually proposed dropping the species count to 13 (i.e. lumping Amsterdam Albatross with Wandering). I agree that the list of breeding locations would look better as a table - go for it. SP-KP 14:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Really? I want to introduce those two to the AOU. The meeting of lump happy scientists and split happy scintists would be like matter and anti-matter. Kaboom! I'll fix the paragraph. Sabine's Sunbird talk 15:16, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I've done some minor tweaking which I think deals with the "number of species" issue - what do you think? SP-KP 16:31, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
It gives equal weight to two scientists who don't have much widespread support - but it will do until some more papers come out. I'd argue that most of the debate is how many more species there are (19, 21, 24?), not wherether P&W are right or not. Hopefully a major revision will come out soon to settle the issue. Sabine's Sunbird talk 16:37, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree - hopefully it won't be too long before there's a consensus. Anyway, with this resolved, I'll pop over the the FAC page and give this a big Support! SP-KP 16:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, since P&W plumed for 13 I wonder if anyone other than HBW goes for 14 anymore...Sabine's Sunbird talk 16:39, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Howard & Moore maybe? SP-KP 16:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Like HBW, Howard & Moore are generalists. I wonder how many albatross specialists still stick to 14 species. Croxall, Brooke and others seemed to have gone for 14+ and Tickell claims disinterest+"it depeds what species concept you subscribe too". I may try and find out this weekend. Sabine's Sunbird talk 19:30, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Not sure if this is the right section to put in this comment or not (have never commented on Wikipedia before), the article is excellent overall but have notice an error, you state that the Waved Albatross is listed as critically endangered- By whom? It has only ever been listed as vulnerable by IUCN red list. They have 2 species listed as near threatened, 10 as Vulnerable, 7 as endangered and 2 as critically endangered. Hope this helps. 03-06-2007

Thanks for commenting. It was recently upgraded to Critical by Birdlife International, who do the assessments of birds for the IUCN. When the IUCN updates all of its lists in a few months (I think its July but I need to check that) it will reflect the changes made by Birdlife. Sabine's Sunbird talk 20:26, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

order of topics[edit]

I'd suggest moving the section on taxonomy to right before the species list, which follows naturally from it. The taxonomy is probably the least interesting section to the general reader, and that move would let the article start with "Morphology and flight", probably the most interesting to such a reader. You'd still need a short mention of the genus names and the range of species numbers at the beginning (maybe in the lead), though. —JerryFriedman 21:07, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Hmmm. I'm not exceptionally bothered either way, but I'd lean towards leaving it as it is. I structured the layout to follow the conventional way a family or species is dealt with in the books I read for this. To paraphrase Confucius, (in a fashion that would probably cause physical pain to a follower therof) the first step to wisdom is know what things are. Most texts deal with taxonomy and evolution first as it tells you what things are and how they came to be. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:01, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

removed line[edit]

I took out the following line Because of this, Albatrosses are fiercely defensive of their eggs. Often, they will attempt to incubate any small, round, white objects they encounter. This can be a major problem when groups of Albatross nest on golf courses. Albatrosses are not fiercely defensive of their eggs, compared to hawks or other large birds. Albatrosses in Hawaii lose their eggs to small birds like and bristl-thighed curlews [1]. Albatross eggs are also considerably larger than golf balls. Sabine's Sunbird talk 15:35, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Main page here we come[edit]

We're on the main page on 4th May. I've given the article a read through, and made a number of tiny changes as a result of small problems that seem to have escaped us in previous review work. It might be worth a few more pairs of eyes taking a final look at the article before our chance at stardom. However, even without any more changes, the article is one of the best I've seen on Wikipedia, and a great credit to editors, particularly of course Sabine's Sunbird. No doubt 4th May will see plenty of vandalism as is the custom when something appears on the main page - I'll try to keep watch when I can, but the more of us that can do that too, the better. Any suggestions for the next bird family we should try to get to Featured standard? How about Pitta? SP-KP 22:16, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Page Deleted[edit]

LoL, Who deleted the page? 01:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok, this is a serious problem. This calls for the immediate attention of an administrator. It is ridiculous to have a blanked page on the main page. Kirbytime 01:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Fixed. --Rory096 01:42, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Looks like Gay Nigger Association of America is repeatedly vandalising this page by redirecting it. Why the hell isn't this protected aready? Kirbytime 01:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately it's a featured article, and featured articles should not be protected. --Rory096 01:52, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I'll add it to my watchlist and give it some love and tender care against vandals. It's such a beautiful article; I don't want anything to happen to it! Kirbytime 01:55, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
There, now it's semi-protected (which only happened because of extraneous circumstances, not just normal vandalism). --Rory096 01:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I understand. Thank you Kirbytime 02:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Why does the article keep getting vandalized and deleted? It's as if this article is on the vandals' hitlist...G.He 03:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

How did the page get deleted in the first place? I thought only admins can delete pages. --CrypticBacon 03:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, it is admins who deleted it... See deletion log.G.He 03:19, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to say much until everything is sorted out, but the article was deleted for very good reasons. It goes far beyond the typical vandalism that the FA usually receives. Sorry that I can't say more right now. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 03:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Deleted again?? If the article was fully protected (and I think it has gotten to that stage the last time I checked), how can anyone edit/vandalize it besides admin?G.He 03:35, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Could there be people hacking the system, because the article was probably vandalized, deleted, and restored more than 5 times?G.He 03:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
No, this is all being done by admins. --Rory096 03:42, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
But why is it necessary to do it so many times? Are they trying to recover the proper history?G.He 03:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Or delete parts of the history as it seems...G.He 03:44, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I see. They wanted to remove the phone number in the edit history. Maybe they should invent a way to modify vandalized edit histories. :PG.He 03:45, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
See drini's comment below in "Why is this so fishy?". --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 03:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sleeping in flight?[edit]

They are aided in soaring by a shoulder-lock, a sheet of tendon that locks the wing when fully extended, allowing the wing to be kept up and out without any muscle expenditure...

Does this mean they can fly in their sleep? I thought I heard that somewhere, but the article doesn't mention it... —Keenan Pepper 03:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It's a widespread idea but a myth. Unlike species that do fly and sleep (like swifts) albatrosses use tiny changes in wind on the tops of waves, which while not requiring expenditure of energy does require concentration. Sabine's Sunbird talk 07:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Sabine's, sleeping in flight formerly "smacked of myth" ("Removed line", 5 Jan) — now it is a myth. Although it seems unlikely, and the literature is silent, how can we definitively rule out the possibility? What about a debunk, by including content to the effect that although the bird is commonly believed to sleep on the wing, for the reasons given this is unlikely? MilitaryTarget 15:16, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I wrote it smacked of a myth, then it is a myth as I have done quite a bit of reading between the two edits. The literature is almost silent, but one paper on about time spent at sea lists sleeping as a behaviour undertaken while resting on the sea. So I made a small mention of it in the Morphology and flight section. Sabine's Sunbird talk 16:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Why is this so fishy? (no pun intended)[edit]

Something fishy is going on... the article is being blanked, redirected to Albatross/bad, the talk page is being redirected... this is a mess. Freakofnurture is the one who seems to be doing this. May I ask why? ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 03:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Oh I see, thanks for explaining it on my page. I apologize if I made anything more difficult, I was only trying to help =/ ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 03:45, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
vandals keep inserting wikipedian's personal info on the article, we need to purge those edits fro mthe history. It's been done several times today (we weren't quick enough to reprotect) (reposted for other people who may be curious)-- ( drini's page ) 03:47, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
They should invent a way for admins to easily change edit histories in such circumstances.G.He 03:50, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Alright. let's hope the vandals stay off this article now that it is unprotected. ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 03:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
See work being done about this at Bitfields for rev deleted, and bug someone to implement that soon. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 03:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Just a quick question: If a page is semi-protected, can a very new user edit it or no?G.He 04:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes. But they can also get a very new block. ;) ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 04:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, they can't. And no one would get blocked for just editing a page anyway. --Rory096 04:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I was assuming he was referring to vandalism, in light of the reason this was brought up in the first place. ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 04:07, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

This is probably the most vandalized FAOTD in a long time. Perhaps just the title of it refreshes people's memory of a certain skit by a certain British comedy troupe... -- 09:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly doubt that it's the MOST vandalized, it's just that this vandalism involves personal information. --Rory096 06:05, 6 May 2006 (UTC)


"Ingestion of floating plastic flotsam ...". Isn't this a tautology? Flotsam floats. GrahamBould 07:33, 4 May 2006 (UTC)


It's ok that you have a grievance with a certain section. However, in your last edit, you changed Albatross to Alison Perrino? That alone discredited your arguement.--Kungfu Adam (talk) 13:06, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Please don't blame me for the glitches in the Vandal Proof program which the previous editor used. Following your logic, the spelling "Alabatross" in your last edit is enough to "discredit your arguement" if there is any. --Ghirla -трёп- 13:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)


I thought it was policy not to protect or semi-protect today's featured article. What gives? BigBlueFish 19:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

True, I honestly don't know what's up with today's FA, it doesn't seem to be receiving any more vandalism than any featured article of the day, yet it has a huge protection log (unprotected it, by the way) -Obli (Talk)? 19:44, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The reason being that rather than run-of-the-mill vandalism, this article is getting vandalised with edits that have summaries containing personal information. These edits have to be removed from the edit history to protect other users, which requires bringing the article down. GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand. What kind of "personal information"? —Keenan Pepper 23:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Names & phone numbers.G.He 23:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Is 2 years of semi-protection enough to thwart the menace? Yeesh. (talk) 21:44, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
It hasn't been protected for the long. It was only protected for a week, and that protection expired today anyway. Before that it has not been protected since it was on the mainpage. Sabine's Sunbird talk 07:46, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I can't see the article[edit]

, looks like it's been deleted o__O --Melaen 21:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC) Same

Is someone on the restoration of this article? It looks as if it was deleted to remove personal information that was stored in an edit summary. If someone is working on this please say so before anyone else starts on it. DJ Clayworth 22:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, sorry. It needed to be temporarily deleted because a vandal posted an admin's personal details to the article, and it was necessary to remove this from the article's history. It's fixed now (I hope!) sorry about the confusion. UkPaolo/talk 22:13, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
PS - this problem seems to be recurring, another admin is editing the page history currently, too. UkPaolo/talk 22:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

can anyone else not see it 22:25, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

See above, it was (one of many) temporary fixes to the pages history, unfortunately, hence the page is currently protected from editing UkPaolo/talk 22:31, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Since this page is featured right now[edit]'s good reading for Orville and Wilbur of The Rescuers franchise. --Slgrandson 23:27, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

slope vs dynamic[edit]

I think this article has slope soaring and dynamic soaring mixed up, what do you guys think? Wrecksitup 02:51, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I can check, but I'm fairly sure I got it right. Sabine's Sunbird talk 02:53, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Mice eating chicks[edit]

I deleted a statement saying albatross chicks were 300 times larger than the mice that devoured them. I'm sure the BBC article this references verifies this statement, but it is incorrect. I probably the same article in the Guardian which stated the chicks weighed 10kg. That is the size of a very large Turkey.

Tristan Albatrosses weigh around 7000 g, and chicks often weigh up to 30% more than adults before they fledge (they lose the weight as they grow just before they fledge). So a figure of 10k isn't that much of an exaggeration. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:09, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Hello. I am a native hebrew speaker, and my English is middle-leveled. I read the sentence "The bill is composed of several horny kids", and I could not understand (nor find) what is "kids" in this context. Could anyone clarify? Thanks, ירון (talk) 19:46, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Old vandalism, it should e plates. I will review the rest of the article later, thank you for pointing it out. Sabine's Sunbird talk 19:55, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for fixing. I was just busy with translating this paragraph. ירון (talk) 20:01, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Predicting Weather[edit]

The text hints something, but does not elaborate. It claims: "Albatrosses combine these soaring techniques with the use of predictable weather systems; albatrosses in the southern hemisphere flying north from their colonies will take a clockwise route, and those flying south will fly counterclockwise", while it is not clear why these are better flying routes (or why the weather there is better). ירון (talk) 20:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

The predicted weather is prevailing wind direction. I'll refind the paper and try and clarify some. Sabine's Sunbird talk 20:37, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

"dying the bait blue"[edit]

Under "Threats" it is said that one of the methods to reduce killing of albatrosses is "dying the bait blue". I'm not native speaker - what does it mean? couldn't figure out even with babylon. Thanks, ירון (talk) 22:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

The fishing bait is usually other old fish - chunks of old tuna or salmon, which is off white or pink or whatever. The application of blue dye changes the colour and makes it look unpalatable (not edible) to the albatrosses. Better? Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:45, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
much better. thanks. ירון (talk) 23:59, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Why did I have to view the discussion page to find the weight of an adult albatross. That would be nice information to have on the main page. How about a table with wingspan, height (when standing), weight, lifespan, and other attributes of various varieties of albatrosses? Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Do you get wafers with it?[edit]

Just asking ;-) Guy (Help!) 16:24, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

question left in article[edit]

I've moved the following question here:

Question (exception to the "no Albatrosses in the North Atlantic"): "regular sighting of albatross-like birds, the size of a medium to a large pelican, with its typical gliding/soaring flight, never flapping its wings, is reported by tourists and locals alike in the Cancun, Mexico area [February, 2013]. These birds overfly the shore area of Cancun and have been seen by this reporter (Feb, 2013) as singles and in pairs from 20' off the water to hundreds of feet above, just gliding, some times perfectly still in one spot facing the prevailing air current. Their belly color varied from VERY white the underside to gray/white, perhaps this being the difference between males and females. Some had the white underside limited to an oval spot in the under-chest area. Some that had white their whole underside, had also a sharply defined, broad white line under the wings running from the chest to the tip of the wing. Their wings had a sharp backwards angulation of about 30 degrees at mid-wing. I identified them as Albatrosses and so confirmed local hotel employees. I could not think what other birds they could be if they were not Albatrosses. Any comments/correction? [Comment/Question by F. Javier Monreal, MD]

MeegsC (talk) 16:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Has anybody got a picture of these birds? (Considering how many have apparently been seen, there should be some somewhere!) How about Northern Gannets? I certainly wouldn't change the article based on a report by a non-birding journalist and "some local hotel employees". MeegsC (talk) 16:58, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Albatrosses never hang in the air, this sounds like a perfect description of Magnificent Frigatebird Jimfbleak - talk to me? 05:47, 18 June 2013 (UTC)


Somewhere it says that Albatross can be used for the plural as well as singular. Sort of like fish, and perhaps other cases. Not to make an issue of it, but the plural used here is clumsy orthography and unattractive phonetics, euphony always being important. Would expect contributing experts to prefer the shorter form. Not planning to replace all plural forms, but making a suggestion to editors in charge of this page. hgwb (talk) 14:12, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

The use of singular for plural sounds old-fashioned to me (and I'm as old as the hills), apart from a few long-established, like fish. I would never say "I saw three albatross yesterday" — it's too reminiscent of the Victorian hunter "I bagged two lion, six zebra and four wildebeeste". It's not a big deal, and I might be in a minority of one, but that's my opinion fwiw. Thanks, Jimfbleak - talk to me? 14:47, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the sensible remarks. My position seems weaker now, the choice may depend on how it's parsed, as in your example, adjusted: "Saw albatross yesterday, at least three birds." From article, as adjusted: "The fossil record of the albatross in the northern hemisphere is more complete than that of the southern, and many fossil forms of albatross have been found in the North Atlantic, where today albatross are absent." hgwb (talk) 18:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, although even in your example I'd make the last occurrence plural Jimfbleak - talk to me? 05:47, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
As I had stated initially, the short plural is an official option, in fact by Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Paper or online versions are explicit: al·ba·tross, noun, plural al·ba·tross or al·ba·tross·es. So the short form, being mentioned first, is preferred. This indicates that albatross is unlike your examples (lion, zebra, etc), invalidating your objections. -- My hunch: The form with "-es" ending offends the ear (euphonics) so much so that speakers early opted for the short plural. hgwb (talk) 02:15, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

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