There are some birds whose nests all look generally the same. Laysan albatrosses do not fall in that category. The architecture is a mixture of available materials and personal preference. Sometimes the couple builds a nice nest before the egg is ever laid, sometimes the egg precedes most of the nest building, which goes on around it. Here are a few nests to illustrate the variety of styles.
This female did not spend much time working on the nest before the male took over incubation duties:
Her mate plucked the grass around him to build the nest:
This nest is a combination of dirt, the surrounding vegetation and the flowers from the tree it sits beneath:
The female built this nest while waiting for her mate to relieve her, using lots of dirt and a bit of grass:
This nest was built by the chick who is sitting in it. He used the fruit and fronds of a hala tree, a type of pandanus native to Kaua’i. Building these structures allows the chick to practice using his bill, which will help him when he fledges and must learn to catch his own meals in the ocean.