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Phoebastria immutabilis (Laysan albatross)

 [= Diomedea immutabilis

Laysanse malmok [Afrikaans]; Swartwangalbatros [Afrikaans]; Swartwangmalmok [Afrikaans]; Laysanalbatros laysan [Dutch]; Albatros de Laysan [French]; Laysanalbatroß [German]; Albatroz de Laysan [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Diomedeidae

Phoebastria immutabilis (Laysan albatross) Phoebastria immutabilis (Laysan albatross)
Laysan albatross.[photo Jeff Poklen ©] Laysan albatross.[photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on north-western Hawaiian islands, with smaller colonies on Bonin Island, off Japan and islands off the coast of Mexico. In the non-breeding season it heads north to the Bering Sea, although there is one isolated record of it in 1983 near the south-central extreme of southern African waters.


It mainly eats fish, squid, crustaceans and pelagic gastropods, often following fishing vessels in search of food or grabbing prey from the surface of the sea.


Vulnerable, largely due to longline mortalities, illegal driftnet fisheries, exploitation for food and feathers and disturbance at colonies. The growth of chicks is often stunted by the consumption of plastic litter, which adults consider to be food.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.