Birds of the South Polar Regions
My first trip to Antarctica in 2001 is when I learned what a Twitcher is, before that I just thought it was someone with a nervous disposition, however it is someone with a passion for sighting and identifying bird species.
On that first trip top the big ice and subsequent trips to Antarctica and Sub Antarctica I was exposed to the world of Ornithology and the passion of Twitchers. I must admit I became quite interested in the various bird species and in photographing them.
Birds of the Antarctic region are without a doubt fascinating, their adaptability and diversity to survive in the harshest of conditions – the Southern Ocean, Sub Antarctica and Antarctica itself.
Petrels and Albatrosses in particular are dominant species in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic region, they are of the Procellariidae and Diomedeidae families respectfully and have a “Tube Nose” anatomy which allows them to survive on sea water.
Most of the Antarctic Sea Birds come to shore to breed but they spend a large amount of time at sea. The Petrels and Skuas are mainly scavenger birds and you will see them feeding off carrion from dead animals on and off shore.
Smart Birds of a Feather!
The Sub Antarctic Skua is a very sneaky and intelligent bird, I once saw a pair of Skuas on Macquarie Island collaborating together to steal a Gentoo Penguin’s eggs. One of the Skuas distracted the penguin by pretending to attempt to steal the eggs while the other Skua came along behind and actually stole one of the two eggs. The two Skuas then got together and feasted on the egg together! Was quite amazed, I’d never seen a scavenger bird collaborate together for food!
Below is a video slide show of some of the birds from Antarctica and Sub Antarctica – Enjoy!
© 2011, Haich. All rights reserved.