From Stowaway to Freedom: Laysan Albatross’s Second Chance in Open Ocean

The Laysan Albatross stowaway found on a container ship last month, made a triumphant return to the open ocean on July 2. Thank you to the Los Angeles City Lifeguard Association who hosted this boat release, we were able to give this bird a proper send-off miles from shore. Watch as this bird takes flight and vanishes within moments in this captivating YouTube video.

The albatross recovered at Bird Rescue after having a dime-sized granuloma mass (typically produced in response to an infection) removed from its foot. Photo: Ariana Gastelum – International Bird Rescue

While Laysan Albatrosses are not commonly seen from shore, they are frequent visitors to our California coastal waters. With their impressive 6.5-foot wingspan, Laysan Albatrosses can glide long distances using prevailing winds, covering 300-400+ miles in a single day. Given this ability, we’re confident this bird will successfully reach its desired destination.

Where to find them: You might spot this bird from a boat out on the open waters of the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California. They nest on islands in the Pacific, including the Hawaiian islands.

Fun Facts:

  • Laysan Albatross are extremely long-lived. The oldest known individual is named Wisdom and is likely over 70 years old.
  • An albatross can fly millions of miles in its lifetime.
  • Sometimes if sick or injured, these birds will stow away on cargo ships and come into our care once they reach port.

Read more about Laysan Albatrosses