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Antarctic Prion

Pachyptila desolata


A very small seabird with distinct grey-blue plumage, a white eye mask and characteristic dark W across the back and wings. They are actually surprisingly well camouflaged, once I spotted them, it was very difficult to track them as their plumage just melds so well into the colours of the ocean. They are very agile, and their flight reminded me of insectivorous birds you get on land. They eat krill by plucking them out of the water (we observed this amazing behaviour!).


Open seas, throughout the Southern Ocean. This was seen at our most southerly location, in the Weddell Sea.


We saw these birds quite a lot the further south we were, but this one the ONLY photo I managed. They were so quick, and blended so well into the scenery, that every other photo I have is either blurry or just empty ocean. Here you can see them engaging in a feeding behaviour, where they run on the surface of the water before plucking a krill out of the water.

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Spotted on Feb 3, 2013
Submitted on Apr 26, 2013

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