This week’s photo, taken September 5, 2015 on a pelagic trip 20-30 miles off shore from Westport, WA, features the mugshot of a BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, a member of the tubenose order of birds.
There are some families of sea birds that come equipped with tubes on top of their bills. These tubular casings are the openings to their nostrils, and the birds known as “tubenoses” have an incredible sense of smell. A few times during our recent boat trip, our skipper stopped the vessel, tossed some smelly fish pieces off the back of the boat, and within a minute or two, dozens of albatrosses, shearwaters and fulmars (all tubenoses) were floating so close to our boat that we could almost lean over the side and pet them.
Bird Cards/Prints: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com