Immature Grey-headed and Pacific (Buller's) Albatrosses
Photo 1 (left)

Upper - Grey-headed Albatross, probably 3rd year, photographed off Wollongong, Australia

Lower - Pacific (Buller's) Albatross, probably 3rd year, photographed off Peru, Humboldt Current
Photo 2 (left)

Upper, original shots, Grey-headed on left,
Pacific (Buller's) on right

Lower, lightened shots using PhotoShop
Photo 3 (left)

Left, Grey-headed Albatross

Right - Pacific (Buller's) Albatross

Originals - upper
Lightened - lower
Photo 4 (left)

Grey-headed Albatross with
Pacific (Buller's) Albatross juxtaposed
These immature albatrosses look very similar in these photographs. In flight the two species
have different underwing patterns, but
how do we tell them apart when they are on the water?
If anyone knows subtle differences that help with the identification could they please email me (  
Larger photographs are available also
- just send an Email to me
These two immatures show structural differences when compared alongside each other here in photographs, though an individual bird on the water could be much more problematical!

How do we tell immature Grey-headed and Pacific (Buller's) Albatrosses when on the water? A request for information was posted onto the seabird newsgroups and replies came from Peter Harrison (of 'Seabirds'), Peter Burke (of 'Birds of Chile') and Edward Soldaat ( Many thanks to them, and also Peter Milburn and Mike Imber for replying to my questions.

The feedback, including new unpublished information on telling these two species apart, can be found here: