Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic by George E Watson

By George E Watson

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Published by means of the yank Geophysical Union as a part of the Antarctic learn Series.


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Extra resources for Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic

Sample text

The burrowing activities of petrels and rabbits are not usually destructive to the vegetation and probably increase soil aeration and drainage. Herbivores, chiefly introduced rabbits on Iles Kerguelen and Macquarie Island and domestic sheep on South Georgia, have, however, drastically overgrazed the tussock areas and herb fields and caused severe erosion, making them less attractive to breeding birds. Beaches and terrestrial food sotsroes. The beaches in the far 20 Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic differ from those farther north in two ornithologically important ways.

Eclopa rasiles Ectoparasitesof antarctic and subantarctic birds have been studied reasonablywell, and the mites, hippoboscidflies, ticks, lice, and fleas to be expectedon each speciesare listed in the text. Ticksand fleas are most easily found in nests, whereas mites and lice live on the skin or feathers at all stages. Information on collectingbird ectoparasitesmay be foundin the leaflet by Watson and Amerson [1967[. Bird endoparasitesin the Antarctic and subAntarctic have not been studied as intensively, and no effort has been made to list them.

Adult long-winged great albatrosses and giant fulmars molt the wing feathers continuously, a remarkably protracted procedure in which individual feathers may be renewed only every other year. The body molt in such cases, however, is usually on an annual cycle. Predalion and Morlalily There are few natural predators in the far south. Leopard seals, giant fulmars and skuas, gulls, and sheathbills are known to feed on adult birds, chicks, or eggs, and fur seals may also capture some birds at sea. Although the killer whale seems like a probable predator of penguins at sea and has been so mentioned by some authors, there are no confirmed reports of killer whales or any other cetaceans capturing birds in antarctic and subantarctic waters.

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