Seabirds Archives - Oceana

Common Murre

Common murres typically spend their winters close to their breeding grounds, often alongside other nesting birds including Atlantic puffins and storm petrels. They make their homes on cliffs or rocky ledges, and unlike most birds they do not make nests. Instead they lay their pear-shaped eggs directly on the bare rock.3 Both parents help incubate the egg, … Read more

Royal Penguin

Royal penguins nest in large colonies on Macquarie Island and nearby Bishop and Clerk Islands in Australia. They favor rocky or pebbly beaches during most of the year. They are members of the crested penguin family, but unlike other crested penguins that have black chins, royal penguins’ chins and faces are pale grey or white … Read more

Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo penguins are native to sub-Antarctic islands where chilly temperatures allow for ideal breeding, foraging and nesting conditions. Despite living in cold climates, gentoo penguins typically live in ice-free areas like flat, rocky beaches and low-lying cliffs where large colonies of individuals can gather. Like other penguin species, gentoo penguins rely on the ocean for … Read more

Little Auk

Little auks are characteristically black and white in color; however during breeding season, they may be almost entirely black except for white under parts. Just like penguins, they stand erect on land due to their legs being positioned at the rear of the body. Aside from islands around the Arctic and the Bering Sea, the … Read more

Red-legged Cormorant

Red-legged cormorants are foraging predators that spend most of their time in the water. Rather than “plunge diving” from flight like many seabirds, they “duck dive” from a sitting position on the sea surface. They hunt predominately in shallow waters where they chase fishes and invertebrates near the seafloor. Like most cormorants, these birds primarily feed alone … Read more


Ospreys are predatory and almost exclusively eat fish. They will nest next to any body of water that is large enough in which to hunt. They hunt from above, and snatch surface fishes directly out of the water, without getting their plumage wet. In order to blend in with sky and camouflage themselves from potential prey, ospreys are … Read more

Least Storm Petrel

Least storm petrels are excellent fliers and are known for their behavior of “dancing” along the sea surface, hunting for small pelagic prey. They primarily eat small crustaceans and other plankton and feed by scooping up their prey without landing on the water or getting their feathers wet. In this manner, they look like they are walking … Read more

Laughing Gull

Like many seagulls, the laughing gull eats a variety of prey and will both hunt and scavenge for suitable food. They forage for a variety of living, coastal invertebrates and for human garbage. They also often steal food from other predators, especially the brown pelican. Adult laughing gulls have few predators, but they are likely taken by tiger … Read more

King Eider

King eiders eat a variety of invertebrate prey, diving for benthic mollusks and crustaceans. They also often enter fresh or brackish water to feed on insect larvae (especially caddisflies and midges), and they are known to eat some plant material when nesting. Though the king eider is predominately marine, it nests inland on dry Arctic tundra. After returning … Read more

Kelp Gull

Like many seagulls, the kelp gull eats a variety of prey and will both hunt and scavenge for suitable food. They forage for many species of living, coastal invertebrates and for human garbage. They occasionally take larger animals, like fishes and coastal reptiles or mammals. Individuals often also steal food from other predators. Kelp gulls will eat just about … Read more