These are medium-sized albatrosses, measuring about 86 cm (34 in) long, weighing in at 3.4 kg (7.5 lbs) and having a wingspan 2.27 m (7.5 ft). They are distinctive for their yellowish-cream neck and head, which contrasts with their mostly brownish bodies. Even more distinctive is the very long, bright yellow bill; which looks disportionately large in comparison to the relatively small head and long, slender neck.
When they need to forage, the Waved Albatross follow straight paths to a single site off the coast of Peru, about 1,000 km distant to the east. During the non-breeding season, these birds reside primarily in the areas of the Ecuador and Peruvian coasts.
The population of Waved Albatrosses on the Galápagos is protected by national park personnel. But they are highly threatened due to limited range, long-line fishing, tourism, disease, and the effects of illegal fishing in the nearby waters.