An Antarctic albatross shot in Greenland waters!

In 1878 the crew of the Eclipse saw an amazing sight. Whilst sailing at 80 degrees north they saw a black browed albatross, a species that has only rarely been seen north of the equator, let alone almost at the north pole. In keeping with the attitudes of the time, the albatross was duly shot and later presented to the Arbuthnot Museum, in Peterhead, by Captain Gray. The mounted albatross is still a prized exhibit in the museum.

The log of the Eclipse, 1878.

June 15th: 80 degrees N, 4 degree E. Shot an albatross - the only one, I suppose, ever seen here. Spread of wing 6ft. 10". length 2ft., weight 8 lbs.

Peterhead Sentinel, May 19th, 1896

To Captain Gray's generosity we are indebted for a valuable collection of Arctic animals, fish and Esquimeaux implements to be seen in the Arbuthnot Museum; and also for a splendid specimen of the Arctic bear, and the rare and valuable black eyebrowed albatross so much prized by naturalists. The last mentioned specimen has been greatly admired and frequently photographed by those interested in the study of natural history.

Black browed albatross
İMartyn Gorman /Arbuthnot Museum
Black browed albatross

Martyn Gorman   ·   University of Aberdeen   ·   Department of Zoology ·   © 2002