Story: Seabirds – overview

Seabird feeding methods

Seabirds fish in a variety of ways. Some take food only from the surface or just below, while others plunge from mid-air or chase their prey underwater. Each method requires special adaptations: storm petrels have large feet for pattering on the surface, and gannets have a strong and streamlined skull and bill for plunging from great heights. The diversity of methods means that there is less competition between species for a particular type of prey.

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Canterbury University Press
Reference: Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Flight of the huia. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2004, p. 240
Artwork by Craig McNeill

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Seabirds – overview - Living at sea', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/5480/seabird-feeding-methods (accessed 26 March 2019)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015