Gough Island: Sooty Albatrosses Nesting

A much more spectacular bird to see on the Gough Island are the sooty albatrosses, one of the most beautiful and graceful albatross species. The dark grey birds nest on the high cliff tops and ledges of the Gough Island, it is one of the largest (of not the largest) sooty albatross colony in the world! Sooty Albatrosses are medium-sized albatrosses with a wingspan ranging from 6 to 7.5 feet (1.8 to 2.3 meters). They have blackish-brown plumage, hence the name “sooty.” They have a very distinctive white crescent-shaped patch around their eyes, which contrasts with the rest of their dark plumage. Sooties mate for life and are known for their long breeding cycles, typically lasting over a year. They construct nests on steep slopes or cliffs using vegetation and soil. They lay a single egg, and both parents take turns incubating the egg and caring for the chick. The chick remains in the nest for several months until it is ready to fledge.we got super lucky to see the chicks on the nests, quite large chicks, and parents taking turns feeding them. Gough Island represents about 40% of the global population of sooty albatrosses.