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Name: Don
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Question:
Sea birds spend a considerable amount of time over the sea particularly those that migrate. My question is " Where do sea birds get their freshwater for survival. Can they turn salt water into fresh water?"


Replies:
There is a family of migratory sea birds called "tubenoses" that excrete salt out of a gland at the base of the bill. An albatross is an example. This is necessary for the reason you point out; they drink saltwater and excrete the salt out their "nose". Some penguins also do this, and I have personally seen a penguin "sneezing" salt crystals out of their "nose" (base of the beak) every few minutes.

Paul B.


Sea birds do drink salt water! The salt is moved through their blood stream and then excreted in salt glands above their eyes. The salty fluid comes out of their nostrils and then runs down grooves in their bill. When the drops get larger the bird will shake its head and return the salt to the ocean.

Grace Fields


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