Short-tailed Albatross

Phoebastria albatrus

This species was once an uncommon-to-common visitor to the waters around the Pribilofs, and regularly seen from shore, though the overall decline in this species has made it now the least likely albatross to be observed from, or near, the Pribilof Islands. Most known records are from July-October, though there are records from the spring and winter as well, with only a few recent sightings from land in the islands. A recent increase in this critically rare species means that sightings may become more regular into the future as it is found more commonly away from deep water than the other albatross species.

The only recent sightings from land are in the late fall from St. Paul Island, with regular records from offshore since the mid-1980s, particularly in the Pribilof Canyon to the south of the islands along the shelf to the west of the Pribilofs. This species was listed as “common” during the 1840s, with at least five seen on the water from St. Paul Island on 10 August 1890.

Photo by Scott Schuette
Photo by Zak Pohlen
Photo by Scott Schuette
Short-tailed Albatross (front center) by Scott Schuette