King George’s Albatrosses

Researchers writing in ‘Polar Biology’ report a small group of light-mantled sooty albatrosses have chosen to nest on King George’s Island, one of the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. The colony is the southern-most breeding location ever recorded for any albatross species (by 1,500km) – previously it was only thought to nest as far south as sub-Antarctic islands.

Sooty Albatross

The birds were first sighted on the island on Christmas Day.  The researchers are unclear why the birds chose to nest so far south, speculating that climate change may be the cause. Charles Lamb’s journal includes several mentions of King George III – who governed at the time the Rime of the Ancient Mariner was scribed and the island was named after him.

King George Island

Curious that the birds should make the link real. What do they call it – life imitating art?

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