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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Wings of Love, Part 2 of 2: The Faithful Albatross

2020-09-04
Language:English

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Humanity is charmed by albatrosses. Since they can travel very long distances with grace and ease despite harsh weather conditions, they are praised as “the most legendary of all birds” and the “prince of waves.” Sailors believe they bring good luck for their voyages, and writers have used them as a symbol of God. They spend 90 to 95% of their life in flight. Reasons they come to land include to breed and feed their offspring. They can fly around the world in 46 days, and travel hundreds of kilometers daily. The grey-headed albatross is the fastest known bird for sustained extended travel, flying at up to 127 kilometers per hour for more than 8 hours. Albatrosses have virtually zero divorce rates. Each pair’s love dance routine is unique as a fingerprint, and the synchronized dancing consists of beak clattering, sky pointing, and other moves that are truly exquisite forms of art. It usually takes several years to cement their bonding through this dance. They select their partner patiently and prudently, and then devote their lives to each other. Although their time together is quite limited, they are loyal to each other for an estimated 50 years. Unfortunately, despite all their noble qualities, 17 of the 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction, with nine endangered or critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. If you have seen the documentary, “Albatross” by noted vegetarian American artist and filmmaker Chris Jordan, we are sure you were shocked by how plastic waste harms the albatrosses. The albatrosses’ condition mirrors how humanity treats the ocean. Fortunately, we have noticed numerous initiatives for the preservation of albatrosses and other seabirds. For example, an international treaty called the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels became effective in 2004.
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