Giant Petrels – scavengers of the Southern Ocean
I have recently completed a series of illustrations that depict the breeding cycle of one of the main avian scavengers of the Southern Ocean - the Southern Giant Petrel. These fascinating birds are often referred to as ‘Stinkers’ thanks to their unsavoury habit of vomiting a smelly oily liquid when alarmed, but I find them to be surprisingly attractive. They have a magnificent tube-nosed beak and the most stunning icy-blue eyes. Giant Petrels are, as their name implies, large birds, which glide elegantly above the waves thanks to their impressive wingspan. The chicks, with their soft white down and pale pink beaks, are wonderfully endearing little creatures. Taking the time to learn more about these fascinating birds is certainly worth the effort, as is always the case in the animal world.