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Snow Petrel

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In November 1972 we managed to get into Steeple Ridge on the east side of the King George VI Sound at about 71.40S, 67.00W. Returning from taking a gravity reading we chanced upon a Snow Petrel nesting colony. One moderately co-operative Snowy was persuaded to pose for this shot. The staining on its plumage comes from its main defence mechanism - the ability to squirt a rather smelly liquid at potential attackers. The orange colour derives from its main diet of krill. This nesting colony was over 70 miles from the nearest open water. The guano from the colony had also helped sustain a small growth of moss which is the first time I've ever 'smelled' the colour green!

Picture copyright Drummond Small


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