Dark-mantled Sooty Albatross
The Dark-mantled Sooty Albatross, Phoebetria fusca, is a small member of the albatross family. They are also known as the Sooty Albatross or sooties. Dark-mantled Sooty Albatrosses nest on islands in the South
Atlantic (Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island) and islands in the South
Indian Ocean (the Crozet Islands to Kerguelen Island). At sea they forage from South America to Australia, with a few records of birds reaching New Zealand.
Dark-mantled Sooties have distinctive black plumage over the head, wings and bellies. They have a dark back and mantle as well. They have a narrow yellow line on the bill, incomplete white eye-ring, dark bills and gray feet. The Dark-mantled Sooty can be hard to distinguish from the Light-mantled Sooty when at sea, as the two have very similar features.
Sooties build cone shaped nests and lay a single egg. Eggs are incubated for 70 days, by both parents. The male takes first watch for 11 days and then they alternate every 7 days. The chick is brooded for 20 days after which the both parents undertake the task of feeding it. The chick is fed for about 160 days until it is able to fledge. Parental care ends after fledging.
The Dark-mantled Sooty is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN due an estimated 75% decline in population over the last 90 years.