Laysan Alabatross

Laysan Albatross are large seabirds frequently seen on the major islands of Hawaii as their main nesting grounds are located on two Hawaiian islands. But these birds spend a good part of their life out on the open ocean far from land. A young bird will spend five years out at sea before finding a mate and returning to land to nest. That sounds like a long time, but consider this: they have a lifespan of 40-60 years! Once they have found a suitable mate, the same pair will continue to meet once a year to nest and raise a single chick, staying faithful for life.
Laysan Albatross are clumsy on land when taking off, however once airborne, they are magnificent flyers, able to spend hours or days gliding on ocean currents without ever beating a wing, even sleeping while aloft! Make sure you keep an eye out for these birds or their cousins, the black-footed albatross, next time you visit Hawaii.
This painting shows a pair of Laysan albatross flying near a Hawaiian beach as the surf crashes beneath them.
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