Antarctic or South Polar Skua Chicks
- Catharacta maccormicki

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Skua chicks leave the nest very quickly after hatching, once the chick has a covering of down and is able to regulate its own temperature it spends much of its time alone rather than with the parents, though one will nearly always be in view to protect it. The best indication you are getting close to a skua chick is that you start getting dive-bombed by the adults. If you look carefully around you at ground level while this is going on, not easy as the parents are rather large and noisy with a worryingly pointy beak, you may see the chick keeping its head down and scurrying away out of sight behind a rock or something similar to hide it.

 The colour of their down and feathers makes them very difficult to see even against a contrasting background as it is a sort of generic rock/brown vegetation colour.



Photo; Paul Ward - Pictures taken on Signy Island, South Orkneys, Antarctica.