Albatrosses are very large sea birds with extraordinary capabilities. Carl Safina wrote in National Geographic, “An albatross is the grandest flying machine on Earth. An albatross is bone, feather, muscle, and the wind. An albatross is its own taunt longbow, the breeze its bowstring, propelling its body forward. An albatross is an art deco bird, striking of pattern, clean of line, epic in travels, heroically faithful. A parent albatross may fly more than 10,000 miles to deliver one meal to its chick.

 Problems at takeoff and landing

Albatrosses have such enormous wings are difficult to flap rapidly they have difficulty taking off. Some launch themselves off cliffs. Others leap into head winds which provide them with lift. Crowded colonies often have a landing strip where the birds can land and takeoff, with birds cuing up like waiting planes at an airport.