Which Wandering Albatross?

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Which Wandering Albatross?
From: Ashwin Rudder <>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:24:43 +1100
Thanks to all those that have replied :)

The general consensus was that these birds (both in general, and the two I
asked about) are incredibly difficult to identify with certainty. Those who
replied were fairly happy to call the first bird a Gibson's, while the
second attracted a fairly even split between exulans and gibsoni.

I originally dismissed Tristan's (dabbenena) straight out on the basis of
distribution, however a few people made reference to them. How often are
they recorded in Australia's waters?


On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Henry Battam <> wrote:

> Ashwin
> Individual 1 has brown plumage and a definite forehead. It is most likely
> D. gibsoni,  but could be (less likely) D. dabbenena.
>  Individual 2  has 3 generations of plumage. However the youngest
> generation is slate-coloured, and this bird has no distinct forehead,
> characteristics of  D. exulans
> Cheers
> Harry Battam
> Institute for Conservation and Environmental Management
> University of Wollongong
> Wollongong, NSW,  Australia 2522
> Mobile +61 429 887 883
> ________________________________________
> From:  [
>  on behalf of Ashwin Rudder [
> Sent: 27 March 2012 21:05
> To: birding-aus
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Which Wandering Albatross?
> Hi all,
> I'd like a hand identifying these two Wandering Albatross to species (or
> subspecies depending on your taxonomy beliefs) level, if it's possible. At
> the moment I'm struggling to split between gibsoni and exulans, and thought
> I'd throw the pics out to some experts to get some more opinions. I have
> more photos/bigger crops of both individuals.
> The photos were taken mid January 2012, off Lord Howe Island.
> Images 1-3 show the first bird
> Images 4 and 5 show the second bird, which I neglected to get good shots
> of...
> Images 6 and 7 show both birds, with the first bird on the right-hand-side
> in both pics.
> (This information is included in the captions)
> The images can be viewed here:
> Any thoughts would be appreciated :)
> Cheers,
> Ashwin
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