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Ocean Birds

Life Science - Middle School

 
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Ocean Birds Because the oceans cover almost 3/4 of the Earth’s surface, many birds have adapted to life over open water or along the coasts. Ocean birds, also called seabirds, develop adaptations for life on the ocean with its changes in temperature and wind, storms and lack of fresh water. Some seabirds, like the giant petrel, have salt glands that shed extra salt that they take in with salt water. Some, like the albatross, have long, narrow wings and long, pointed tails to help them save energy while flying vast distances at sea. Many have light underwings to make them invisible against the sky so they can sneak up on prey in the water. Others have webbed feet for swimming and oil glands for keeping dry. Some, like the penguins in Antarctica, store fat under the skin to stay warm while swimming in frigid waters. Many can pull their feet inside their warm feathers while in flight. Yet all seabirds have one important trait in common. They must come to land to breed. Seabirds may build giant nests of sticks, like the osprey, or just scratch a hollow in the soil, or find a crack in a rock, like the petrels. Some, like the emperor penguin, use no nest at all, but incubate their egg on their feet with a flap of their belly over the top to keep them warm. Seabirds eat a wide variety of foods. Though fish is their main prey, seabirds also feed on krill, squid, snails, mussels, sea urchins and even other birds’ eggs and chicks. Some seabirds are scavengers, eating whatever they can find including dead sea animals that float to the surface of the ocean. Although there may be fewer predators at sea, seabirds are vulnerable to oil spills, nesting habitat loss and the growing litter problem in the ocean. The survival of many seabird species is dependent on our care of our ocean habitats. 4 1 3 5 8 9 6 7 10 11 13 12 16 15 14 2 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Amsel (1) sooty albatross (2) giant petrel (3) kelp gull (4) Antarctic cormorant (5) adelie penguin (6) gentoo penguin (7) chinstrap penguin (8) emperor penguin (9) rockhopper penguin (10) macaroni penguin (11) king penguin Antarctic Birds (12) puffin (13) osprey (14) brown pelican (15) cormorant (16) herring gull (17) snowy egret (18) oystercatcher (19) elegant tern (20) ruddy turnstone (21) semipalmated plover (22) least sandpiper (23) spotted sandpiper Coastal Birds
Amsel 4 1 3 5 8 9 6 7 10 11 13 12 16 15 14 2 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Ocean birds, also called seabirds, develop adaptations for life on the ocean with its changes in temperature and wind, storms and lack of fresh _____________________. Some seabirds, like the giant petrel, have ___________________ glands that shed extra salt that they take in with salt water. Some, like the albatross, have long, narrow ___________________ and long, pointed tails to help them save energy while flying vast distances at sea. Many have light underwings to make them invisible against the sky so they can sneak up prey in the water. Others have ____________________ feet for swimming and __________________ glands for keeping dry. Some, like the penguins in Antarctica, store _____________________ under the skin to stay warm while swimming in frigid waters. Many can pull their feet inside their warm feathers while in flight. Yet all seabirds have one important trait in common. They must come to land to ____________________. Seabirds may build giant _____________________ of sticks, like the osprey, or just scratch a hollow in the soil or find a crack in a rock, like the petrels. Some, like the emperor penguin, use no nest at all, but incubate their egg on their ___________________ with a flap of their belly over the top to keep them warm. Ocean Birds Coastal Birds 94-4069 Antarctic Birds 1 _________________________________ 2 _________________________________ 3 _________________________________ 4 _________________________________ 5 _________________________________ 6 _________________________________ 7 _________________________________ 8 _________________________________ 9 _________________________________ 10 ________________________________ 11 ________________________________ 13 _________________________________ 14 _________________________________ 15 _________________________________ 16 _________________________________ 17 _________________________________ 18 _________________________________ 19 _________________________________ 20 _________________________________ 21 _________________________________ 22 _________________________________ 23 _________________________________ 12 _______________________
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