Seabirds are those birds adapted to marine life. They mainly feed from the ocean. Seabirds spend most part of their lives in the ocean or in close vicinity, except during the breeding season, when they nest on the shore. This group lacks a taxonomic value, it is a non-scientific group. That means, that the different species included in the group may belong to different orders, although their adaptation to a similar environment lead to a convergent evolution of their characteristics.
They live longer than other birds, nest at an older age and lay less eggs (some species only lay un egg every year), because they invest a great amount of time in parental caring of their offspring. Most species breed in colonies, whose sizes varies between a few dozens and millions of birds. They usually nest in inaccessible locations such as islands or cliffs. Many species show long annual migrations, crossing the equator, and in some cases traveling from one end of the Earth to the other. The feed in the surface of the ocean as well as in deeper waters. Some species even feed on seabirds.
Seabirds may be highly pelagic, coastal and even in some cases stay far away from the ocean for the most part of the year. Consequently, those species spending the most part of their lives offshore are called pelagic or oceanic birds, while those spending great part of the time on land are called coastal birds. Examples of pelagic birds are albatrosses and shearwaters.
The seabird species most frequently sighted in the Mediterranean Sea are listed below:
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