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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...
An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's...
A tufted puffin ( Fratercula cirrhata ) in flight against a gray sky in Alaska’...
On June 3, 2010 a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, stands mired in oil...

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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 Islands, and some migrate...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious...
One of the smallest shearwaters in the Atlantic, Audubon's Shearwater (...

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Oceanic birds are a rare treat to see because these birds are not casual visitors to our coastline—to see them you normally...

The Ocean Blog

After leaving Australia, Dampier and his men reached the western coast of New Guinea on New Year’s Day 1700. There Dampier observed birds that he had never seen before, like the “stately land-fowl”...
Band-rumped Storm-petrels ( Oceanodroma castro ) are quite a bit larger and heavier than Wilson's storm petrels, but share their amazing sense of smell, which they use to find food that may be miles...
“I visited the beach at sunrise after high tide and found this skimmer feeding, providing me with this reflected shot.” -- Nature's Best photographer, James A. Galletto. See more beautiful ocean...
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...
Artist Chris Jordan, who took these photos, is making a documentary about Laysan albatrosses on Midway Atoll and their plastic problem. Watch the trailer .
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...
In the 1940s the short-tailed albatross population plummeted from tens of millions to such a small number that they were believed to be extinct. Their decline was due to hunting for their feathers...
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 still from Albatrocity , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
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...
Scripps scientist Gerald Kooyman's expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitat in Antarctica. Learn more about life at the poles or check out this emperor penguin...
Great Shearwaters usually don't come near land when they're not breeding—but sometimes they can be blown ashore by strong winds and storms. When that happens, the stranded birds have to be taken to a...
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...
Laysan albatrosses will fly hundreds of miles to catch food to feed their chicks. Or, rather, what looks like food: sometimes they catch floating plastic instead.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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