Image-of-the-Week: Wandering Albatross


Credit: AntarcticBoy via Flickr.Credit: AntarcticBoy via Flickr.

The wandering albatross, that enormous glider of the southern oceans with the longest wings of any bird (some individuals exceed 11.5 feet/3.5 meters wingspans), needs strong winds to stay aloft. During periods of little or no wind they’re forced to roost on the water. Now a new paper in Science reports how a warming climate is fueling faster average winds over the southwestern Indian Ocean, and this has enabled albatrosses there to fly faster and cover more water in less time. Consequently breeding males and females spend less time at sea and spell their partner more frequently at the nest (in 1970 nest reliefs happened on average every 12.4 days, by 2008 every 9.7 days). Better-fed parents meant more eggs hatched successfully (in 1970 ~66 percent of eggs hatched, by 2008 ~77 percent). Plus adult birds now lose less weight during the breeding season, weighing an average of 2.2 pounds/1 kilogram heavier than a couple of decades ago. Perhaps this positive response to climate change will help offset ongoing population declines from birds drowning in longline fisheries.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate