During a recent visit to Bergen, in Norway, I visited the Natural History Museum and had a wonderful time looking at their fascinating collection and sketching the animals. I spent some time with the marine birds, mysterious creatures capable of adapting to extreme weather conditions.
First, a male Eider duck. Eider ducks are well known for their down and its valuable insulation properties. Female ducks line their nest with this down and farmers collect the first lining; the duck will reline her nest before laying her eggs.
Then, I sketched a male long-tailed duck, which used to be called Oldsquaw in North America. Males are very vocal and produce a melodious repeated call.
Fulmars are seabirds who come ashore only for breeding. They are tube-nosed, and like all the other members of the order Procellariformes possess two tubular nostrils on top of the bill and an extraordinary sense of smell.
The Common Guillemots, or Common Murres, at the top of the page, are good flyers but far better divers. They catch their prey by pursuit diving, and use their wings underwater to propel themselves. They can reach depths of 600 feet (180 m) and remain underwater for up to two minutes.