ANTARCTIC Ocean & Seashore

The birds of the Antarctic include sheathbills, gulls, skuas, albatross, giant petrels and cormorants...

Class Aves

Order Charadriiformes: Waders & Shorebirds

Family Chionidae: 'Sheathbills'

(Antarctic Peninsula)

Chionis albus, 'Snowy Sheathbill'. The only 'land' bird native to Antarctica.

Family Stercorariidae: 'Skuas' and 'Jaegers'

(Antarctic Peninsula)

(South Polar?) Skua.

Family Laridae: Gulls

Larus dominicanus, 'Kelp Gull'.

Family Spheniscidae: Penguins

A penguin porpoising.

Penguins don't have teeth, but they do have something that looks similar inside their mouths. These are backward-pointing barbs, that help grip their slippery prey and encourage the one-way direction down their throat.

A moulting penguin is a mess!

Pygoscelis spp. 'Brush-tailed Penguins'

There are three species in this genus.

pengion-chinstrap-quarryChinstrap Penguins collecting stones for their nests from a 'quarry' (Cuverville, Antarctic Peninsula)

All three species of these penguins build nests from stones. There are no trees, bushes or other vegetation available in their habitat. While many penguins may pick up stones from the shore, the penguins above are collecting small rocks in a little 'quarry' high on a ridge next to their nesting sites, picking through the dirt after the snow has melted. 

Pygoscelis papua'Gentoo Penguin'

Gentoo Penguins usually lay two eggs. After about a month, the two chicks hatch. Both of the parents incubate the eggs and feed the young, taking turns. Sometimes only one chick survives to fledgling stage.

Pygoscelis antarcticus, 'Chinstrap Penguin'.

Order Procellariiformes: Tubenoses

Giant Petrel feeding on a penguin (image by Damon Ramsey)(Antarctic peninsula)

 Macronectes giganteus, 'Southern Giant Petrel'.

Pachyptila desolata'Antarctic Prion'.

Storm Petrels

Order: Suliformes

Family Phalacrocoracidae: Cormorants

(Antarctic peninsula)

Leucocarbo bransfieldensis, 'Antarctic Cormorant'.

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