Talk:Albatross

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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)

Plural[edit]

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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Replaced outdated "oldest albatross" statement[edit]

I replaced a sourced statement statement that said:

... the oldest recorded [albatross] being a northern royal albatross that was ringed as an adult and survived for another 51 years, giving it an estimated age of 61.

with a description of Wisdom (albatross), who was tagged 51 years ago and is currently 66. I used two National Geographic articles as sources as I was in hurry, but I encourage addition of more diverse references. For the record, the previous statement's source was:

<ref>{{cite journal | doi = 10.1071/MU9930269 | last1 = Robertson | first1 = C.J.R. | year = 1993 | title = Survival and longevity of the Northern Royal Albatross ''Diomedea epomophora sanfordi'' at Taiaroa Head" 1937–93 | journal = Emu | volume = 93 | issue = 4| pages = 269–276 }}</ref>

~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:27, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

I also removed the sentence following the earlier text:
Given that most albatross ringing projects are considerably younger than that, it is thought likely that other species will prove to live at least as long.
Without an explicit source, it sounds more like an deduction (see WP:SYNTHESIS), and doesn't seem to jibe with the sourced text on Wisdom the albatross. If someone has access to the Robertson work in Emu cited above, perhaps they see if it contains a similar statement, and rephrase the old text to fit the update. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:46, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It was from Tickell or Brooke, if memory serves (it's been a while since I wrote this). 'll try and find it again, but I don't have all the books I had over a decade ago. Sabine's Sunbird talk 18:16, 18 February 2017 (UTC)