American or Snowy Sheathbill - Outside a Research Base in
Winter Waiting for Kitchen Scraps
- Chionis albus
Sheathbills "Mutts" waiting outside the kitchen window in winter. With no skuas around in the winter months, these birds that live around an Antarctic scientific base can actually get to the best supply of food around at this time. They accumulate around meal times drawn to the smells coming from the kitchen waiting for the "gashman" to start clearing up and hopefully throw some tasty morsels in their direction.
Not exactly a good looking bird and very nervous and skittish as befits a small and vulnerable creature that makes its living by scavenging, it was difficult not to have some respect at least for Mutts as they braved the harshest of conditions and seemed to know their place in the hierarchy - right down at the bottom.
Photo; © Paul Ward - Pictures taken on Signy Island, South Orkneys, Antarctica.