One of the great tourism frontiers for travellers, explorers and
adventurers is Antarctica, Earth's southernmost continent. Located in the
Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to the geographic South
Pole. This remote region is popular with tourist seeking an experience that is
different and memorable.
One of the reasons many visitors come to Antarctica is the unique display of
wildlife, in particular some of the spectacular birds to be found here. Many are
unafraid of humans being so close and you have the unique experience of getting
quite close to them. The Antarctic region is home to huge numbers of birds that
can both fly and those that do not.
One of the dominant birds here in the Antarctic are the Antarctic skuas. With
a number of species, they are all predators, feeding mostely on marine life,
penguin eggs and even chicks. They are also known to rummage through trash
looking for food. Skuas do not build a nest, laying their eggs on some flat
ground and defending it fiercely against other predators or intruders.
The South Polar Skua also prey on eggs and young, although others may just
feed solely on fish and krill. Their nests tend to be shallow depressions on the
ground, generally found in sheltered locations on rocky outcrops, moss covered
cliff sides or valley floors.
The Australian Antarctic
Division government website provides some information about the birds and other
Australian Government -
Australian Antarctic Division website lists
Australian tour operators for the Antarctic. For those planning to include
Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, information is available from the
Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service.
Many thanks to Jennifer Cooke for sharing the story and images of
the wonderful tour she went on with Aurora Expeditions to Antarctica.
Source: Images courtesy of Jennifer Cooke