There is a surprising variety of bird species in Antarctica.


The emperor and the adelie penguins are true Antarctic residents, as they live on the continent all year round, but in spring other species of penguins appear for the breeding season, among those the gentoos and the chinstraps.

Occasionally stray macaroni and king penguins can be seen here and there as well.

Usually penguins are easily photographed as they have little or no have no fear of humans, making it possible to photograph their natural behaviour.

Images of emperor, adélie, gentoo and chistrap penguins.

Penguins and their icebergs

Penguins are seabirds, spending two thirds of their lives in the freezing Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (with a few exceptions).

On occasion they do hang out on icebergs, which is a gift for a photographer.


Predatory birds are not native to Antarctica due to the extreme climate and lack of terrestrial prey, however they do appear for breeding in the short summer.

The predatory birds in Antarctica are tough hunters, true opportunists and extremely skilled survivors.

Among those predatory birds are the somehow uncanny and powerful southern giant petrels and the amazing and charismatic skuas.

The skuas are tough, they seem fearless and they are clever as few, they even hunt efficiently in pairs using diversion and ambush as a technique.


Obviously, besides penguins other bird species are present in Antarctica during the short summer.

On a lucky day various albatrosses can be seen while terns, snowy sheathbill, kelp gull, king cormorant, snow petrel, Wilson's storm petrel and other smaller petrels and birds seem to be always around.

Cape petrels in flight over the Drake passage

Cape petrels defying gravity and rough sea in the southern Drake Passage.

Snowy sheathbill in Antarctica
King cormorant aka blye-eyed shags in Antarctica
Wilson's storm petrel is usually easiest to photograph while "walking on the water" but here it's in flight.
Snow petrel in Antarctica
Snowy sheathbills in Antarctica
Antarctic petrel in Antarctica
Kelp gulls in Antarctica
Southern fulmar in Antarctica
Diving kelp gull in Antarctica

Karsten Bidstrup




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