For every season since 2010 the female-female pair of Short-tailed Albatrosses Phoebastria albatrus has returned to the USA’s Kure Atoll in the North-Western Hawaiian Islands to lay eggs (click here).
Both birds were banded as chicks so their current ages for their latest breeding attempt are known. One is 15 years of age (banded in 2000) and is still in intermediate plumage. The other bird is now 22 years old having been banded in 1993 and is in adult plumage. All previous breeding attempts have failed during the incubation stage – which both birds share - as the eggs they each lay are assumed to be infertile (click here).
The intermediate-plumaged Short-tailed Albatross on Kure.
Photograph from Winter Season 2015/2016 Volunteer Ryan Potter’s blog on the Kure Atoll Conservancy website
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 03 December 2015