Scary Birds

If you thought the Giant Petrel was a little scary, let me introduce you to the Skua.  Skuas are one of the top predators here.  They’re quite good at what they do, too, and get a reputation for being a bit evil.  Some individuals, for example, have been caught pecking out the eyeballs of penguin chicks.  Rather than eating them on the spot, the skuas leave these chicks wandering around helpless, ensuring a fresh supply of easy-to-catch meat throughout the entire Antarctic summer. Yup, skuas are pretty easy to hate… until you see BABY SKUAS, which are even cuter than penguin chicks.  I mean, c’mon.  Look at him.  He’s like a real-life marshmallow Peep!

SIX-FOOT WINGSPAN

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of six-foot wingspans before. Heck, there are folks on UNC’s basketball team with wingspans much wider than that. I don’t think any of them have big, pointy beaks, though, and I’m also pretty sure none of them have ever eaten a penguin or seal. Meet the Giant Petrel: closest thing I’ve ever seen to a pterodactyl.