I chose each animal in this book for a special reason, and what better animal to start off the journey through the book than the majestic bird known for long journeys: The albatross!
The albatross is built for flying incredibly long distances. To save energy on the journey, they have mastered gliding on the wind. Albatross wings even lock in place so they don’t get tired holding them open! They are so efficient at flying that their heart rate while flying is the same as while they are resting! Albatrosses have the largest wing and life span of any living bird. Most of the 21 species live over 50 years and their wingspans range from 5.7-12 ft, with a 10 foot average. To compare: the heaviest bird, the condor, has a maximum wingspan of 10.5 feet. Most species mate for life. They nest in large colonies on islands during the breeding season. The albatross equivalent of a teenager, (which for them is 5-10 years old depending on the species) will come to the colony as well in order to watch the adults and practice the family dance, which they will use to eventually choose a mate. Most live in the southern hemisphere, and their need for wind to fly prevents them from hanging out near the equator where there are doldrums. They don’t have annual migratory patterns, but travel extremely long distances, dispersing from their colonies to all over the ocean. This creature is truly amazing.