Birds

Seabird species vary a great deal. Some migrate for hundreds of miles and remain at sea for lengthy periods of time and others stay close to home. All seabirds rely on the sea for food, foraging above and below the ocean surface using adaptations that help them deal with salt water.

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Happy World Penguin Day!

An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's legs to keep warm in the long Antarctic winter. Credit: Wikimedia User "Mtpaley" Even if you aren't a hardcore birder, chances are...

Celebrating Marine Moms

The ocean is home to many moms of all shapes and sizes: from charismatic polar bears and dolphins to small fishes and shrimps and more. Learn about some of the diverse parenting habits of...

Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem

Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even touching land ,...

4,000 Years of Marine History through the Eyes of a Seabird

A Hawaiian petrel flies over part of its North Pacific feeding grounds. Credit: Photo courtesy of Jim Denny Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized seabird that spends...

12,000 Miles to Go: Migrating with Shearwaters

Oceanic birds are a rare treat to see because these birds are not casual visitors to our coastline—to see them you normally have to get on a boat. So late last spring I was...

Migratory Seabirds: A Slideshow

All seabirds spend a significant part of their lives at sea, and many experience many parts of the world's ocean as they migrate around the globe every year. Some seabirds travel very far distances,...

Watching for Fish in the Puffin's Beak

Atlantic puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more small forage fish at once without losing any along the way. Credit: Steve Garvie, <a...

Penguin Health Equals Ocean Health

Magellanic penguin parents typically lay two eggs under a bush or in a burrow, taking turns swimming out to sea to catch food for their chicks. Credit: Dietmar Temps (<a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/deepblue66/361805214">Flickr</a> ) It’s...

Beyond the Sea: How Oil Spills in the Ocean Affect Birds On Land

With their brown and yellow markings, seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus ) blend in well with marshgrass. Credit: Philip Stouffer, Louisiana State University In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's...
An albatross soars over the ocean.

Is It Love? Why Some Ocean Animals (Sort Of) Mate For Life

We often hear stories of animal love— tales of rare monogamy in the animal kingdom where life-long love is implied. But there is a distinction between romantic love and an efficient mating system. Here’s...

Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop

Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin...

Menopausal Moms: A Mammal Mystery

Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) have something in common with humans: early menopause. Credit: Robert L. Pitman, NOAA Fisheries, USA In honor of Mother's Day, the Citizens of the Sea blog salutes ocean-going...