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Thalassarche chlororhynchos (Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Yellow-nosed albatross) 

[= Diomedea chlororhynchos

Atlantiese Geelneusalbatros [Afrikaans]; Geelneusmalmok [Afrikaans]; Geelbekalbatros [Dutch]; Albatros à nez jaune [French]; Gelbnasenalbatroß [German]; Albatroz-de-bico-amarelo [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

Thalassarche chlororhynchos (Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Yellow-nosed albatross) 
Thalassarche chlororhynchos (Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Yellow-nosed albatross) 

Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross on nest (taken outside of southern Africa). [photo Peter Steyn ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, dispersing across the South Atlantic and South-West Indian oceans, including southern African waters. Here it is fairly common in the cold water off the west coast of South Africa and Namibia, while more scarce south of the Western and Eastern Cape.

Movements and migrations

Adults arrive at their breeding colonies in late August, with the chicks fledging from mid March-April and rapidly dispersing soon afterwards. It is present year-round in southern African waters, with a peak numbers in winter, especially from May-June off Namibia. Adults may reach southern Africa when they are incubating the eggs and raising chicks, as then they go on extremely lengthy foraging trips


It mainly eats pelagic schooling fish, crustaceans and squid; it is much less dependent on fishery bycatch and offal than many other albatrosses. It does most of its foraging by catching prey on the surface of the water, occasionally plunge-diving to greater depths. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • fish
    • Scomberesox saurus (Saury)
    • Etrumeus whiteheadi (Round herring)
    • Engraulis encrasicolus (Anchovy)
    • Sardinops sagax (Sardine)
    • Trachurus trachurus (Horse mackerel)
  • squid
  • crustaceans


Its status it has recently changed from Near-threatened to Endangered, largely due to decreasing population its colonies at Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha, probably caused by mortalities on longlines.


  • 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.