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South Polar skua        Images © Mark A. Chappell

South Polar skuas are powerful, aggressive predators found in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands.   Skuas are famous for attacking eggs and chicks of penguins, especially Adelies, and will even take on injured adults.  They are scavengers of practically anything dead and also feed on small fish and krill.  Many of these images were made near Palmer Station, Antarctica, where I studied Adelie penguins, skuas, and other seabirds in the 1980s and 1990s.  Other skuas were photographed in Monterey Bay, California, during their epic migrations in the non-breeding season; one is resting with a flock of pink-footed shearwaters.

  • Nikon F3, Vivitar Series One 90mm macro lens or Nikon 400 mm f5.6 EDIF, Kodachrome 64 (1987)
  • Canon 7D II or R7, 100-400 Mk. II zoom or 400 DO Mk. II, (2021, 2022)