White Sheathbill

  • Common Name: White Sheathbill
  • Scientific Name: Chionis alba
  • Date Taken: January, 2001
  • Location: Gold Harbor, South Georgia and Elephant Island
  • Photographer: Howard Cunningham

White Sheathbills are found on the Antarctic Peninsula, subantarctic islands, and some parts of southern South America, such as the Falkland Islands. They inhabit areas with ice, snow, and rocky coastal zones, often near penguin colonies. They are opportunistic feeders, and their diet includes a variety of items such as carrion, fish, invertebrates, and the eggs and chicks of other seabirds. They are known for their scavenging behavior, often relying on food scraps or prey items left behind by other birds. White sheathbills typically breed in colonies on rocky cliffs or slopes. They build nests from pebbles and other available materials. They have physiological adaptations to cope with the extreme cold, including specialized feather structures that provide insulation. They are also known to huddle together for warmth.

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