Sailors capture the bird for its long wing-bones, which they manufacture into tobacco-pipe stems. The albatross lays one egg; it is white, with a few spots, and is about 4 in.
The flight of the albatross supplies the necessary illustration.
Among the birds of the island are the eagle, hawk, petrel, owl, finch, peewit, diamond bird, fire-tail, robin, emu-wren, crow, swallow, magpie, blackcap, goatsucker, quail, ground dove, parrot, lark, mountain thrush, cuckoo, wattlebird, whistling duck, honeybird, Cape Barren goose, penguin duck, waterhen, snipe, albatross and laughing jackass.
Coleridge was anxious to embody a dream of a friend, and the suggestion of the shooting of the albatross came from Wordsworth, who gained the idea from Shelvocke's Voyage (1726).
The albatross is of course the most conspicuous sea bird.
The best known is the common or wandering albatross (D.
The early explorers of the great Southern Sea cheered themselves with the companionship of the albatross in its dreary solitudes; and the evil hap of him who shot with his cross-bow the bird of good omen is familiar to readers of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Several species of albatross are known; for the smaller forms see Mallemuck.