Light-mantled Albatross – Accepted

1. 17 Jul 1994


Cordell Bank MRN



Fig. 34, ph., video, Stallcup & Terrill (1996), FN 48:985, Howell & Pyle (1997)




Figure 34. Few vagrants have generated more interest and excitement among California birders than this Light-mantled Albatross did upon its discovery at Cordell Bank, Marin County, on 17 July 1994 (1994-124; Chris Corben).


Light-mantled Albatross

LIGHT-MANTLED ALBATROSS Phoebetria palpebrata (Forster, 1785)

Accepted: 1 (100%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 0

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This cold-water species nests on several subantarctic island groups and ranges at sea around the globe, generally between 33°S and the edge of the pack ice but extending north to about 20°S in the Humboldt Current (Carboneras 1992).

The sole record of a Light-mantled Albatross in the Northern Hemisphere pertains to a bird photographed, videotaped, and studied at length on 17 July 1994 at Cordell Bank, Marin County (Stallcup and Terrill 1996; Figure 34). The AOU Check-list Committee accepted this record (AOU 1997), but the ABA Checklist Committee voted otherwise, citing concerns about the bird’s natural occurrence (Robbins et al. 2003). Early claims of this species attributed to California (Grinnell and Miller 1944:557) are considered to be without merit (AOU 1957). The Light-mantled, the Wandering, and the Shy are the only albatrosses of the Southern Hemisphere to have been recorded in the North Pacific (see Mlodinow 1999a).