Seabirds

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Seabirds are also known as Marine birds. These are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behavior and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations. The first seabirds evolved in the Cretaceous period, and modern seabird families emerged in the Paleogene.

In general, seabirds live longer, breed later and have fewer young than other birds do, but they invest a great deal of time in their young. Most species nest in colonies, which can vary in size from a few dozen birds to millions. Many species are famous for undertaking long annual migrations, crossing the equator or circumnavigating the Earth in some cases. They feed both at the ocean's surface and below it, and even feed on each other. Seabirds can be highly pelagic, coastal, or in some cases spend a part of the year away from the sea entirely

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Cormorants

Total Records: 7

Grebes are small to medium-large in size, have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body.

Grebes have narrow wings, and some species are reluctant to fly. They respond to danger by diving rather than flying, and are in any case much less wary than ducks.  Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans. The feet are always large, with broad lobes on the toes and small webs connecting the front three toes.

Grebes make floating nests of plant material concealed among reeds on the surface of the water. The young are precocial, and able to swim from birth.

Cormorants are medium-to-large seabirds. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet have webbing between all four toes, as in their relatives.

They are coastal rather than oceanic birds, and some have colonised inland waters. All are fish-eaters, dining on small eels, fish, and even water snakes. They dive from the surface, though many species make a characteristic half-jump as they dive, presumably to give themselves a more streamlined entry into the water. Under water they propel themselves with their feet.

Cormorants are colonial nesters, using trees, rocky islets, or cliffs. The eggs are a chalky-blue colour.

Frigatebirds

Total Records: 1

The Frigatebirds are a family of seabirds. They are also sometimes called Man of War birds or Pirate Birds. Since they are related to the pelicans, the term Frigate Pelican is also a name applied to them.

They have long wings, tails and bills and the males have a red gular pouch that is inflated during the breeding season to attract a mate. Frigatebirds are seasonally monogamous, and nest colonially. A rough nest is constructed in low trees or on the ground on remote islands.

Frigatebirds obtain most of their food on the wing. A small amount of their diet is obtained by robbing other seabirds, a behavior that has given the family its name, and by snatching seabird chicks. 

Gulls

Total Records: 27

Gulls are typically called as Seagulls. These are medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Gull species range in size from the Little Gull [30 cm] to the Great Black-backed Gull [76 cm].

They are mostly migratory. These birds forage in flight OR pick up objects while swimming, walking OR wading. They also steal food from other birds and frequently scavenge. They are omnivorous; their diet may include insects, fish, grain, eggs, earthworms and rodents.

Pelicans

Total Records: 6

A Pelican is a large water bird with a large throat pouch. Pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica. These are birds of inland and coastal waters, they are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America.

Pelicans are large birds with large pouched bills. The smallest is the Brown Pelican [106 cm] and the largest is believed to be the Dalmatian Pelican [183 cm]. The Australian Pelican has the longest bill of any bird.

Pelicans swim well with their short, strong legs and their feet with all four toes webbed. The tail is short and square. Pelicans rub the backs of their heads on their preen glands to pick up their oily secretion, which they transfer to their plumage to waterproof it.

Petrels

Total Records: 51

Terns

Total Records: 20

Terns are seabirds and have a worldwide distribution. Many terns breeding in temperate zones are long-distance migrants, and the Arctic Tern probably sees more daylight than any other creature, as it migrates from its northern breeding grounds to Antarctic waters.

They are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. They have longish bills and webbed feet. They are lighter bodied and more streamlined than gulls, and look elegant in flight with long tails and long narrow wings. Terns have deeply forked tails OR shallowly forked tails OR have unusual 'notched wedge' shaped tails. Terns ranges in size from the Least Tern [23 cm], to the Caspian Tern [21 inches].

Most terns hunt fish by diving, often hovering first, but the marsh terns pick insects of the surface of fresh water. Terns only glide infrequently; a few species, notably Sooty Tern, will soar high above the sea. Apart from bathing, they only rarely swim, despite having webbed feet.

Terns generally nest in large, densely packed colonies. Depending on the species and habitat, the nests may consist of unlined scrapes in the ground, or of flimsy collections of sticks on trees or floating vegetation. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25–30 years.