Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

An Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross feeds on a dead turtle in Brazilian waters

Fabio Schunk AYNA feeds on turtle 1 shrunk
An Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross feeds on a dead Loggerhead Turtle; photo time series by Fabio Schunk

Fabio Schunk (Comitê Brasileiro de Registros Ornitológicos, São Paulo, Brazil) and colleagues have published in the open-access journal Marine Ornithology on a juvenile Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos observed feeding on a corpse of a Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta at sea off the coast of Brazil.

The paper’s abstract follows:

Albatrosses mostly forage for fish, squid, and crustaceans (including discards from fishing vessels), but they also scavenge animal carcasses, a behavior still poorly characterized for some albatross species. In July 2021 during a pelagic birding trip off the coast of São Paulo State, Southeast Brazil, three Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos were spotted feeding on the floating carcass of a Loggerhead Sea Turtle Caretta.  This behavior had not been previously documented in the literature, on-line citizen science platforms, or by personal observations. We believe this to be an uncommon feeding strategy for this albatross species.”

Fabio Schunk AYNA feeds on turtle 2 shrunk
An Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross close by the dead Loggerhead Turtle; photograph by Fabio Schunk

With thanks to Fabio Schunk.

Reference:

Schunck, F., Pina, P., Barata, F. & Olmos, F. 2022.  Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos feeding on a dead sea turtle.  Marine Ornithology 50: 143-145.

John Cooper, ACAP News Correspondent, 21 October 2022