FAL162 Feathers £0.32 Albatross Stamp
32p Black-browed Albatross – Thalassarche melanophris
Over 75% of the world’s population of this albatross species breed in the Falkland Islands, with a total of over half a million pairs across 12 breeding sites. These majestic birds come to the Falklands each September to lay their single egg. During the courtship ritual, which is very important in this family of birds due to their life-long, monogamous pair bond, the tail feathers are a major part of the display; the tail is fanned out and raised and the pair engage in a complex series of bill-clacking and head-waving, the male periodically placing his bill between the feathers on his back and making low, ‘growling’ sounds. The albatross keeps up a strict preening regime to maintain the waterproof quality of its feathers and will often alight on the sea for a bath.