Albatross dynamic soaring
Please find this PDF which follows a lot of research on Albatrosses. This presentation throws up some really interesting issues. I feel comfortable that albatrosses when they decide to go home follow their sense of direction to their home islands in the South Atlantic: the Crozet Islands and Kerguelen as they fly straight there. However, please note the interesting behaviour as they approach their home islands. We welcome any ideas on why this behaviour takes place.
The ability of Albatrosses to carry out flights of tens of thousands of kilometres has puzzled Scientists for a long time.
New research shows how they fly by gaining energy on a downward flight with the wind and doubling round to flip up using the wind from another direction. This can lead to an effect akin to tacking and very high speeds.
This may also account for the “isolines” we see in the PDF.
The prevailing winds at Crozet Island are the roaring forties which are westerlies.
See also: http://www.wfu.edu/biology/albatross/atwork/dynamic_soaring.htm
You will find more on a Google search for Albatross Dynamic soaring.