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The Laysan albatross ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) breeds mainly in Hawaii and other Pacific islands where male and female pairs will incubate their egg for nine weeks. The pair participates in an elaborate courtship...
In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) nest...
A menageries of seabirds (including cormorants and pelicans) and seal gather on...
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It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land,...

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Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be 100 pounds. This species breeds directly on the ice: a female lays her one egg and then passes it to...
“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious...

DIVE DEEPER

In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over...
If this chick had survived, it could have lived a long time. The oldest known wild bird is a 62-year old Laysan albatross named “Wisdom,” who still rears chicks on Midway Atoll.
A menageries of seabirds (including cormorants and pelicans) and seal gather on a rocky outcrop. The photo is a still from The Changing Sea , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival,...
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 amazed to find hundreds of...
An Atlantic puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) carries many sandlances ( Ammodytidae ) in its mouth to take back to its hungry chick. Puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their...
Sabrina Taylor, a wildlife biologist at Louisiana State University and lead scientist for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, releases a seaside sparrow ( Ammodramus maritimus ) in the Louisiana...
A parent Magellanic penguin ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) sits with its big chick. Magellanic penguins live in South America, breeding in colonies along the coasts of Chile, Argentina and the Falkland...
Sooty Shearwaters ( Ardenna grisea ) are the migration kings of the ocean and cover both the Pacific and Atlantic basins as they travel around the globe. In the Atlantic, the birds can cover more...
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...
The white body of the snow petrel blends in with the stark Antarctic landscape, accentuating the beautiful black eyes and beak of this seabird. They hunt in the sea ice, feeding on krill and fish...
A fishing line with bait on the hook intended for tuna and other big fish is also a tasty snack for other animals such as this albatross, which drowned after being accidentally caught on a longline...
One study found that 97.5% of chicks had plastic in their stomachs, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium .
Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized seabird that spends the majority of its life searching for food over the North Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, this bird...
Artist Chris Jordan, who took these photos, is making a documentary about Laysan albatrosses on Midway Atoll and their plastic problem. Watch the trailer .
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
Laysan albatross chicks are fed and raised by their parents for 180 days, until they are almost fully grown. Some older “chicks” are as large as their parents!
These cute Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) are actually having a bit of a spat. In the spring (October for them), the penguins form breeding colonies on rocky coasts with thousands of birds in...
The largest of the Atlantic shearwaters, Cory's Shearwater ( Calonectris borealis ) can often be spotted by its casual wingbeat and gliding flight. When not breeding on islands in the Mediterranean...
The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific ocean unless it is breeding season (March to October) when they can be found nesting on Hawaiian islands. They feed on animals...
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