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.

FEATURES

Photo
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 islands where they...
On June 3, 2010 a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, stands mired in oil...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized...
A fishing line with bait on the hook intended for tuna and other big fish is...

LATEST CATCH

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...
Blue-footed Boobies ( Sula nebouxii ) , common in the Galapagos Islands and...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are...

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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
Midway Atoll, where these photos were taken, is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest land.
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...
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...
In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to hear the sharp, buzzing calls of seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus )—even if they can be hard to spot. These five-inch, brown...
One of the smallest shearwaters in the Atlantic, Audubon's Shearwater ( Puffinus lherminieri ) is about the size of an American Robin. They breed on small islands in the Carribbean, and commonly...
Small Adélie penguins live throughout the Antarctic, but are most abundant in the area of the Ross Sea. They lay eggs on the few rocky outcrops of land not covered in ice. Scientists have determined...
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...
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...
Much of this plastic comes from litter on land, which washes down storm drains and eventually makes it to the ocean. Some bits are from fishing nets and lines discarded by fishing boats.
Subscribe to Birds