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“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 photos in our...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
These cute Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) are actually having a bit of...
An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's...

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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...
There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on...
A parent Magellanic penguin ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) sits with its big...

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...
“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...
Midway Atoll, where these photos were taken, is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest land.
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...
The vibrant yellow eyestripe of this seaside sparrow ( Ammodramus maritimus ) is a splash of color on an otherwise drab body. But that drab body lets it blend into marshgrass, where it feeds, breeds...
Once common in the West Indies, the Black Capped Petrel ( Pterodroma hasitata ), which breeds in high Caribbean mountains, is now on the endangered species list. Unlike many seabirds, it is active...
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...
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.
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...
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...
'Austral' or southern breeders, Great Shearwaters ( Ardenna gravis ) migrate from breeding islands far to the south in the Atlantic before traveling to the Northern Atlantic to feed. This trip is 6,...
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...
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”...
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.
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...
Pomarine Jaegers ( Stercorarius pomarinus ), also known as Pomarine Skuas, are predatory and pirate-like seabirds that will often steal prey from other birds. They spend their entire lives at sea...
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...
GRAND ISLE, La. -- Brown pelicans congregate on containment boom that surrounds Queen Bess Island, a few miles north of Grand Isle, Louisiana on August 25, 2010, a few months after the Deepwater...
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