Great Crested Grebe

Ornamented with crests on their crowns and chestnut "tippets" on the sides of their heads, pairs of this species display together on lakes and rivers. The birds hunt for fish, insects, and other aquatic animals underwater.

• NEST A heap of plant materials, floating in shallow water or among waterplants.

• Distribution Breeds in much of Eurasia and in Africa and Australasia. Populations in the north of the Eurasian range winter as far south as the Mediterranean and n. India.


Plumage Scxes aHkc

Migration partia| migrant


Plumage Sexes alike


Species /)iomci!i<i exu/ans

Wandering Albatross

I his gigantic seabird has long, narrow wings with a span of some ') ft 9 in (3 m). It flies effortlessly over the southern oceans, where strong winds and gales are usual. Saving energy by soaring on the wind, it often travels for dozens, or even hundreds, of miles while prospecting for a good food source. A typical feeding site would be an area of water in which upward currents bring nutrients to surface waters. The bird feeds mainly at night, reaching down from the surface for prey, or on rare occasions making shallow-dives. Squid and other ccphalopods are the main food. I )uring the night, these and other marine animals rise to the surface. The albatross stores food as an oily liquid in its stomach, to be either digested later or regurgitated for its young. Wandering Albatrosses nest in small colonies on the exposed tops and slopes of small, oceanic islands from which they can easily launch themselves off into the wind. Courting adults display to one another by spreading their .It ivknii. wings, waving their heads, and rapping their bills together, amid frequent, braying calls. Pairs thus formed stay together for life. The single egg is incubated for

II weeks by both parents in turn. The young bird is fed on fish and regurgitated oil for up to ten months, before it Hies. Breeding normally takes place every two years. The young bird spends its first ten years at sea until it is mature enough to breed. By then its plumage will have changed gradually, through a series of molts, from chocolate brown to mainly white. The birds live on average for about 30 years.

• NRST A large, drum-shaped mound scraped together out of earth and plant materials, with a small hollow in the top.

• DlSTRIBl ITION Oceans and islands surrounding Antarctica, and coasts of the southern continents. snowy white filuinuge of fully mtHure bird very long, narrow wing


Plumage Sexes alike


Species phoebttria palpebrata

Light-mantled Sooty Albatross

I hree features identify this small albatross: its plumage is mostly dark, its back is pale gray. and. « hen seen in flight, its tail forms a perfect wedge shape. It glides for long distances with spread wings. To feed, it floats on the sea and catches fish, squid, and crustaceans. Courtship behavior includes paired flights and face-to-face ground displays in which the white eye crescent and bill stripe are shown off. The birds nest in scattered pairs on ledges of steep slopes on islands in the southern oceans.

• NEST A tall mound scraped together out of soil and plant materials, with a deep, cupped hollow on the top.

• DISTRIBUTION Oceans and islands around Antarctica and the southern coasts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Species phoebttria palpebrata

Family PrqcelI-ARIIDAK Species Pulmarus gtaciatis

Northern Fulmar

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