The waved albatross is the largest and the heaviest of the birds found on the Galápagos Islands and it has a wing span of over two metres. These large wings make soaring effortless, however they do not help the birds to take off, as the sheer size of them makes flapping very difficult indeed.
Española island is most well-known for being the sole breeding ground for the entire population of the world’s waved albatross, also known as the Galápagos albatross. Between April and December between 25,000 and 30,000 individuals, almost the entire world population, can be found on this island.
These birds mate for life and perform an elaborate courtship dance that can last for five days. The pair produce a single egg each year, which they take turns to incubate. In December the chicks begin to wobble awkwardly to the edge of the cliffs before launching themselves off and by January the entire colony leaves the island to fish for three months. Young albatrosses will remain at sea for approximately five years before returning to seek their mate.