Light-mantled Sooty Albatross

The Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Phoebetria palpebrata, is a small member of the albatross family. They are also known as the Sooty
Albatross or sooties. It nests in South Georgia in the Atlantic, many of the same islands in the Indian Ocean, and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands. At sea it forages further south than the Dark-mantled to Antarctica, and around the Southern Ocean as far north as Chile, Tasmania and South Africa.

At sea they often eat more fish as opposed to squid than other albatross species, and the sooties also readily take carrion and particularly other seabirds. They also are the deepest diving of the albatross, often diving to 16 feet and once being recorded as deep as 39 feet.

The Light-mantled Sooty has a distinctive black plumage over the head, wings and belly. They have an ashy-gray mantle, back and rump. They also have a white incomplete eye-ring, dark bills and gray feet. Both Light and Dark-mantled Sooties are the smallest of the albatrosses, with wingspans of only 6 and a half feet and very narrow bodies.