Pelagic Birds

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This group, often called pelagic birds, comprises web-footed diving seabirds of northern seas: auks; puffins; guillemots; murres; albatrosses; boobies; petrels; etc. These birds rarely come to land except to breed and raise their young.

One of the evolutionary developments in creatures who spend their lives in saltwater is specialized glands that remove salt from seawater, and enable them to survive without a source of freshwater. Some amphibians, reptiles, and pelagic birds possess such salt glands. Often in these birds, the glands are placed between the bill and the eye. Excreted sodium and potassium drips through the nasal passage and drips from their bill.