Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Stefan and Janine Schoombie (FitzPatrick Institute, Rondebosch, University of Cape Town, South Africa) have published in Seabird, the annual journal of the United Kingdom-based Seabird Group, on a Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma incubating an egg-shaped mass of vegetation on Marion Island.

The paper considers this observation in the light of other records of seabirds incubating “pseudo-eggs”, including stones, bones, light bulbs and even beer cans*, and the several hypotheses as to how this habit may come about.

*and sea shells (JC pers. obs.)

A Grey-headed Albatross rises from incubating its pseudo-egg, photograph by Stefan Schoombie

With thanks to Stefan Schoombie.


Schoombie, S. & Schoombie, J. 2017. Pseudo-egg “fabrication” by Grey-headed Albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma on Marion Island. Seabird 30: 71-74.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 17 April 2018

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