"Often to pass the time on board, the crew will catch an albatross, one of those big birds
which nonchalantly chaperone a ship across the bitter fathoms of the sea.
Tied to the deck, this sovereign of space, as if embarrassed by its clumsiness, pitiably lets its great white wings drag at its sides like a pair of unshipped oars.
How weak and awkward, even comical
this traveller but lately so adoit - one deckhand sticks a pipestem in its beak, another mocks the cripple that once flew!
The Poet is like this monarch of the clouds riding the storm above the marksman's range;
exiled on the ground, hooted and jeered, he cannot walk because of his great wings." - Charles Baudelaire
Albatrosses are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. They feed on squid, fish and krill by either scavenging, surface seizing or diving. Albatrosses are colonial, nesting for the most part on remote oceanic islands, often with several species nesting together. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years, with the use of "ritualized dances", and will last for the life of the pair.