- albatross , common name for sea birds of the order of tube-nosedswimmers (Procellari-iformes), which includes petrels,shearwaters, and fulmars. The wandering albatross, Diomedeaexulans, made famous by Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, has a wingspread of from 10 to 12 ft (305-366 cm), although thewings are only about 9 in. (22.5 cm) wide. Because of theirtapering wing design they excel at gliding and flying. Albatrosseseat mainly fish, floating carrion, and refuse. Most albatrosses arefound in the South Pacific region, e.g., the wandering and the sootyspecies; a few, the black-footed ( D. nigripes ), the short-tailed,and the Laysan ( D. immutabilis ) albatrosses, regularly frequentthe N Pacific.