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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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, which...
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It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land,...
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All seabirds spend a significant part of their lives at sea, and many...
“I visited the beach at sunrise after high tide and found this skimmer feeding...

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Every breeding season, some 400,000 Magellanic penguins ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) come to Punta Tombo, Argentina to nest on the shore. They typically lay two eggs in a burrow or under a bush, and the parents take turns watching...
The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific...
The Laysan albatross ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) breeds mainly in Hawaii and...

DIVE DEEPER

Oceanic birds are a rare treat to see because these birds are not casual visitors to our coastline—to see them you normally...
A still from Albatrocity , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
An estimated 5 tons of plastic are fed to albatross chicks each year at Midway Atoll.
These photos portray baby albatrosses, which are fed the plastic by their parents. A chick can have an ounce of plastic in its belly and remain healthy; the dead chicks have twice as much, biologist...
It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land, clad in their tuxedo-like plumage. In their crowded breeding colonies, they squabble with and show off to their neighbors...
In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) nest at the top of a mangrove tree. Many other kinds of birds—as well as insects, frogs, snakes, and lizards—live in the...
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...
In honor of Mother's Day, the Citizens of the Sea blog salutes ocean-going mothers everywhere. Especially a 60 year-old albatross named Wisdom. She holds the seabird records for both oldest bird and...
“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under the surface of the water. I got the shot just before the tern flew away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Nuno Sá. See more...
Carl Pellegrin (left) of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tim Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to net an oiled pelican in Barataria Bay, La., Saturday, June...
A tufted puffin ( Fratercula cirrhata ) in flight against a gray sky in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands (USA). Puffins are charismatic seabirds that delight wildlife enthusiasts and draw tourists to the...
The Socotra Archipelago site in Yemen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The marine life is diverse and includes 283 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of...
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,...
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...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more...
The St. Kilda site in the United Kingdom was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986. The volcanic archipelago and surrounding marine waters have some of the highest cliffs in Europe and host...
There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at...
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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