Wandering albatross pair, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
© David Tipling Photo Library/Alam
Flocking together in the Antarctic
These birds are a few days late for Valentine's Day, but they look like they're in the mood for love. Wandering albatrosses (also known as snowy albatrosses, white-winged albatrosses, or goonies) live mostly on the open ocean but come on land for mating season. A salt gland on the top of their nasal passages allows them to desalinate and survive drinking only saltwater as they feed on small marine animals. They can float on the sea surface and glide for hours.
The birds are seen here in South Georgia, a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The British territory has no permanent residents, but is visited by yachts and cruise ships, as tourists come to fish or observe the unique wildlife.
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