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One of the great tourism frontiers for travellers, explorers and adventurers is Antarctica, Earth's southernmost continent. Located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to the geographic South Pole. This remote region is popular with tourist seeking an experience that is different and memorable.

One of the reasons many visitors come to Antarctica is the unique display of wildlife, in particular some of the spectacular birds to be found here. Many are unafraid of humans being so close and you have the unique experience of getting quite close to them. The Antarctic region is home to huge numbers of birds that can both fly and those that do not.

One of the dominant birds here in the Antarctic are the Antarctic skuas. With a number of species, they are all predators, feeding mostely on marine life, penguin eggs and even chicks. They are also known to rummage through trash looking for food. Skuas do not build a nest, laying their eggs on some flat ground and defending it fiercely against other predators or intruders.

The South Polar Skua also prey on eggs and young, although others may just feed solely on fish and krill. Their nests tend to be shallow depressions on the ground, generally found in sheltered locations on rocky outcrops, moss covered cliff sides or valley floors.

The Australian Antarctic Division government website provides some information about the birds and other wildlife.

The Australian Government - Australian Antarctic Division website lists Australian tour operators for the Antarctic. For those planning to include Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, information is available from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service.


Many thanks to Jennifer Cooke for sharing the story and images of the wonderful tour she went on with Aurora Expeditions to Antarctica.

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Antarctica - Snapshots from Australia

Brown Skuas or Southern Skuas also known as the Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta skua lonnbergi)
Brown Skuas or Southern Skuas also known as the Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta skua lonnbergi) - Images © Jennifer Cooke
South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki)
South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) - Images © Jennifer Cooke
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