Sea Birds

The Surprising Reason Birds First Grew Feathers

When birds first grew feathers 150 million years ago, their function was not necessarily to help with flight

Rendering of Vegavis iaai in flight

Antarctic Fossil Suggests Ancient Birds Honked Not Sang

Recent analysis of two fossils provides the first evidence of ancient noisemakers

How far would you go to spot a bird?

Extreme Birdwatching Is a Thing, and This Could Be Its Greatest Year Ever

Thank El Niño for a Big Year that's bashing previous records

Small fixes can keep birds from being snagged by fishing lines, which also helps fishing vessels not lose bait to the flying foragers.

These Simple Fixes Could Save Thousands of Birds a Year From Fishing Boats

Changes as basic as adding a colorful streamer to commercial longline fishing boats could save thousands of seabirds a year

Researchers Piece Together Ancient Plesiosaur Attack

After examining bite marks on a 70-million-year old diving bird, researchers figure out who tried to have it for dinner

Wisdom (front) and her mate

The Oldest Known Seabird Is About to Lay Another Egg

Wisdom the Laysan albatross has lived at least 64 years and raised as many as 36 chicks

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Eaten Plastic

And plastic pollution will threaten even more birds as production grows

Ten years on, some of the scars that Katrina tore into coastal ecosystems persist, while others have healed. NASA's Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of the swamps and marshes that buffer New Orleans in August 2015.

How Hurricane Katrina Redrew the Gulf Coast

While storms here are nothing new, human influence helped Katrina make Louisiana’s ecological problems worse

Wisdom, the World's Oldest Albatross, Laid an Egg

This is about the 35th time Wisdom has been a mother-to-be

Scientists Finally Figure Out the “Big Bang” of Bird Evolution

The genomes of 45 birds contributed to the most in-depth bird evolutionary tree ever created

An Australian banded stilt in Victoria.

These Extreme Desert Nomads Set Records for Migrating Birds

Australian banded stilts use mysterious cues to know when to head toward ephemeral lakes in the country’s otherwise dry interior

An African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) calls out near Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa.

Scientists Decode African Penguin Calls

Researchers are trying to figure out how "jackass" penguins—nicknamed for their braying vocalizations—communicate

An emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) teaching its baby how to preen.

Emperor Penguin Colonies Will Suffer As Climate Changes

Scientists project that two thirds of emperor penguin colonies will drop by 50 percent in the next century

An osprey, commonly called a sea hawk.

14 Fun Facts About Sea Hawks

Number one: There's no such thing as a "seahawk"

On Eastern Egg Rock, off Maine's coast, researchers label favored hangouts to help track the birds and monitor their behavior.

A Puffin Comeback

Atlantic puffins had nearly vanished from the Maine coast until a young biologist defied conventional wisdom to lure them home

Foxes ate so many Aleutian cackling geese that by 1940, the birds were thought to be extinct.

Wild Goose Chase

How one man's obsession saved an "extinct" species


Flying North to Fly South

Preparing the critically endangered whooping crane for migration could save the flock


Kiwi Ingenuity

A fleet of inventions aims to protect albatrosses from harm

Of the 21 albatross species, 19 are threatened or endangered. The Chatham albatross is critically endangered, with only about 11,000 of the birds remaining.

The Amazing Albatrosses

They fly 50 miles per hour. Go years without touching land. Predict the weather. And they're among the world's most endangered birds


Where the Gooney Birds are

More than 400,000 albatross pairs nest on Midway Atoll, which is now the site of an extraordinary National Wildlife Refuge

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