Yes, yes this is another Falklands page. I’ll be done with these rough and wonderful islands soon enough. Perhaps we’ll go back to the Galapagos or Australia or Africa – or maybe the winter-beating Brazil. But this page will tie into pages from New Zealand (see March 2014 post) where the kings of the great Southern Ocean, the albatrosses, reign.
These birds range in size, when measured by wingspan, from 6.5 to 11.5 feet tip to tip. The bird’s weight is not exceptional for that large size which allows each square inch of expanded wing surface to “float” only a modest amount of weight. This allows the bird to sail and sail almost effortlessly over and around the great ocean, often for weeks at a time.
The Falkland Islands harbor one species of albatross (or Mollymawk as many books and people call it) the Black-browed Albatross. This species is found world wide in a very southern sense. As a resident of the northern hemisphere I tend to think of worldwide as the US, Europe, Asia, and thing north of the equator; or in expansive moment I’ll include equatorial regions as well. But in the south there is Australia, South America and southern Africa and each of these is pretty much surrounded by water. A circumpolar (hol-antarctic) bird or mammal is a creature who has a range that touches the southern tips of South American and Africa and maybe the underside of Australia. In order to qualify you pretty much have to be a fish, marine mammal, or sea bird.
That said, our “Falklandian” albatross is the most widespread of all albatross. They even wander north on occasion – there are rare records north of the tropics in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Fishing boats and trawlers may accumulate hundreds, even thousands, of Black-brows as they stir up the seas and discard undesired species of fish.