Bruny Island Birdlife - Albatross


Bruny Island is home to abundant birdlife, including all 12 species endemic to Tasmania. Some are critically endangered, such as the Forty-spotted Pardalote, the Swift Parrot, and the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. All 12 endemic species are protected under Tasmania's Nature Conservation Act 2002.

Bruny Island is a popular place for bird watching, and has been named in the top 10 bird watching sites in Australia by Australian Birdlife magazine.

Watch out for the next Bruny Island Bird Festival, (date TBA).

Photos from award winning photographer Rod Hartvigsen of Murranji Photography



There are 21 species of albatross, although only 10 are commonly seen over Tasmanian waters. Albatross are quite large birds with big wingspan which helps them fly long distances. Albatross are long lived birds and can live up to 50 years.


Albatross cover great distances looking for food, and can cover almost a thousand kilometres in a single day, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring techniques, which means they don't even need to flap their wings.


Albatross usually create colonies on isolated islands. There are 3 breeding islands off Tasmania - Mewstone and Pedra Branca to the south of Tasmania, and Albatross Island to the north. Albatross can often be seen around the Cape Bruny Lighthouse area.


Albatross in the past were hunted for food, their bones and feathers, and for sport. Modern threats include drowning after getting hooked on fishing longlines, rats and feral cats eating the young, and ingestion of plastic wastes. Three of the 21 species are critically endangered and the others are considered threatened. In 2001, an international treaty was signed requiring countries to implement measures to try and halt the rapid decline of the albatross population.