Antarctica’s seabirds

Penguins may be the bird most popularly associated with the Antarctic, but many other species make the seventh continent and nearby islands their home, at least during the (relatively) clement months. Gulls and terns, cormorants and skuas – any voyage here can take in a great variety. But there are doubtless several stars to look out for. The wandering albatross, a regal creature with a wingspan of over three metres, is known to follow ships on the voyage south, effortlessly, hypnotically gliding on the wind near thrilled passengers. Another of the larger birds is the Antarctic Fulmar, over a metre in wingspan and mostly found in the Ross Sea region. Look out for them on the hunt: wing-dipping and surface-seizing small squid and fish. And be sure to also watch for petrels. Many types visit Antarctica, but the most beautiful is perhaps the Snow Petrel, a bird of purest white feathers and blackest eyes, one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica and has even been spotted at the South Pole.

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