Antarctica's Birds

by Lucas and Ben


The penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere.

What a smart penguin (in the picture)


The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds.They are black and white. Plus, there are 21 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Antarctica.


Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Antarctica.

  • Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
  • Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata


Size: 140 cm (wings spread)
Weight: 980 to 1900 g
Distribution: continent and Antarctic islands
Egg laying: November to January.
Hatching: December to January.
Departure of chicks: February to march.
Food: eggs and chick of Adelie penguins, but feeds also at sea (fish) and out of human wastes.
Distribution at sea: Antarctic waters. Comes to Antarctica in winter, but most stay near the sea-ice.

Find out about penguin tagging in the video link below


Gulls or seagulls are seabirds of the family Laridae in the sub-order Lari. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders.

scientific name: Laridae


These smallest of seabirds feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.


The sheathbills are scavengers of the Antarctic regions. They have white plumage, and look plump and dove-like, but are believed to be similar to the ancestors of the modern gulls and terns. There are 2 species and 1 species which occurs in Antarctica.

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But how do these brids survive in these cold conditions ?