The albatross is a large sea bird. The Great Albatross (genus Diomedes) has the largest wing span of any bird.
On land the albatross appears clumsy and comical, but in the air they soar gracefully over great distances.
Of the 21 species of albatross recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 19 are threatened with extinction.
Thanks to a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the albatross has taken on the figurative meaning of a burden that prevents a person from living life fully.