A displaying skua. They display to, or for a mate
or to other skuas to establish their territory. Sometimes the
birds can be seen to do this as a pair, it is quite an impressive
sight and the squawking can be heard some considerable distance
away. Skuas will also do this if their nest is being approached
by an unwanted visitor.
though the first sign that a visitor gets of being near to a skuas
nest is of a sudden heart-stopping rush of air through the wing
feathers of the parent bird flying at speed past your head from
behind, much too close for comfort. If you're particularly unlucky
or if its very unhappy at you being so close, then rarely a whack
at the back of the head by the front of the wing may result. This
is actually quite a good way of finding skua chicks - when the parents
start getting upset you know you're very close to the excellently
This bird however was semi-tame and was calling
to his mate to come quick as there may well be some give-away food.
The biggest problem I had taking this shot was getting the bird
far enough away as he kept sticking his beak about 10cm from my
Paul Ward - Pentax equipment, 50mm
lens, 35mm film, K64.
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