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Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed albatross) 

[= Diomedea chrysostoma

Gryskopalbatros [Afrikaans]; Gryskopmalmok [Afrikaans]; Grijskopalbatros [Dutch]; Albatros à tête grise [French]; Graukopfalbatroß [German]; Albatroz-de-cabeça-cinzenta [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 chrysostoma (Grey-headed albatross)  Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed albatross) 
Grey-headed albatross, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Grey-headed albatross, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on sub-Antarctic islands, dispersing across the southern oceans but generally staying below 40° South. Juveniles and immatures may range further north, including in southern African Waters off the southern and western coast of South Africa.

Movements and migrations

Adults return to breed at their colonies in September, so that their chicks can fledge by May - it is present in southern Africa from June-September.


Its diet in southern African is largely unknown, but probably consists of mainly offal and discards from fishing vessels.


Vulnerable due to continuous population decreases at a number of its colonies, linked to 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.