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Top 25 Marine Birdlife

The oceans were once perceived as an endless abyss, so large that humans could not possibly have any measurable impact on the life within them. However as the human population has boomed, we have begun to impact our oceans more and more. In fact plastics have even been found in some of the deepest ocean...

The oceans were once perceived as an endless abyss, so large that humans could not possibly have any measurable impact on the life within them. However as the human population has boomed, we have begun to impact our oceans more and more. In fact plastics have even been found in some of the deepest ocean trenches. Over-fishing, global warming and various forms of pollution now threaten birds in our oceans. Here we share some of the many birds that depend on our oceans. You can help keep their home safe by ensuring that you dispose of your waste responsibly, recycle what you can and reduce the amount of plastics that you use. Every small change adds up to one large global change!


White-tailed Tropicbirds are found in tropical and sub-tropical oceans. They are a pelagic species, typically spending most of their time at sea except during the breeding season. This bird was photographed near the Seychelles by Suranjan Mukherjee
A Northern Gannet on the cliffs of Bempton, England (Charlie Goes)
These Great Pied Cormorants of New Zealand and Australia like the sheltered marine habitats of mangroves, estuaries and bays (Tony Stoddard)
A Black-headed Gull in breeding plumage in Surrey, England (Edwin Godinho)
Pigeon Guillemots are distributed on the coastlines and oceans of the North Pacific ocean. They are well known for their ability to ‘swim’ under water to catch fish, usually diving to depths of between 10 and 20 metres (Anirban Roychowdhury)
The Blue-footed Booby favours areas of coastal upwelling where the waters are cold and rich in nutrients (Christopher Ciccone)
A spirited communication between two Forster’s Terns in California, USA (Leslie Reagan)
The Great Black-backed Gull is a vicious predator, catching and killing birds as large as Atlantic Puffins (Sonia Longoria)
This interesting looking moustached bird is an Inca Tern, they can be found on the western coastlines of South America (Antonis Tsaknakis)
Pacific Golden Plovers have rather different habitat preferences in their breeding range and their wintering range. In their tundra breeding habitat they prefer inland shrubby areas. Whereas they prefer coastlines in their wintering range (Goutam Mitra)
Male and female Northern Giant Petrels have distinctly different dietary preferences. Females forage at sea, catching live prey, whereas males scavenge on carcasses on land (Judi Fenson)
Atlantic Puffins are vulnerable to extinction, due to overfishing, oil spills, nest disturbance and getting tangled in fishing gear (Antonis Tsaknakis)
A Black-headed Gull skims the water in India (Gur Simrat Singh)
The Red-billed Tropicbird is a pelagic species, they spend most of their time at sea, other than during the breeding season. During this time they breed on small, remote islands (Melissa Penta)
Sooty Shearwaters occur across all the world’s oceans, except at the polar regions (Anirban Roychowdhury)
This Caspian Tern is the largest tern species in the world (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
Cormorants often have bright colouration on the face and brightly coloured eyes. This Great Pied Cormorant is no exception! (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
Eurasian Curlews use both inland and coastal habitats. Interestingly males are more likely to use inland habitats than females (Jay Patel)
The Australasian Gannet is strictly marine, they feed off the coast of Australia, eating mainly pilchards, anchovies and mackerel (Deepak Panchal)
Oriental Darters are mainly an inland species but they are also found in estuaries and mangroves (Pallavi Sarkar)
Belcher’s Gulls occur along the west coast of South America. This one was photographed on the coast of Peru by Owen Deutsch
A Great Cormorant with a fresh catch in India (Pallavi Sarkar)
The semipalmata sub species of the Willet prefers coastal habitats. In contrast the inornata is more commonly associated with inland prairie marshes (Jola Charlton)
A Royal Albatross in flight on the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand (Deepak Panchal)
Atlantic Puffins hunt by diving and pursuing schools of fish such as herring and mackerel (Suranjan Mukherjee)


Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

The Best of the Top 25: Part 2

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Meet the Author

Steve Boyes
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.