Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby Skua is Gone!

Where, oh where, did Baby Skua go? Sean doesn't see him . . . .

Baby skua has finally left the nest. I'm not sure exactly when or where, but I was down there earlier this week and Baby Skua was no more. I didn't see frozen skua feathers so I'm hoping Baby Skua is coming to a town near you - well, if you live near the sub-tropics. We had a short, but tumultuous relationship.

Baby Skua plays hard to get.

On our first visit, we barely spotted Baby Skua and when we did, we thought it was dead. Ever since then, Baby Skua has remained hard to spot. Skuas natural camouflage is amazing. Sometimes, Baby Skua would be hiding in the lee of some rocks. Other times, he’d be in the open, but he was always hard to spot. As Baby Skua got bigger, we also got better at finding it. Maybe, it got worse at hiding.

Visiting Baby Skua yielded some amazing pictures.

A young Baby Skua wonders about the world . . .

and then realizes that everything wants to eat him and he needs to practice running away.

In Baby Skua's adolescence, his parents made us miserable. Not only did they form up an attack squadron if we got too close. They also formed the squadron if we tried to walk around them because we didn't want to disturb them on the trail (see below). The alternate route put us closer to Baby Skua that the parents would have liked. Parental instincts aside, I’m curious when a skua’s behavior changes from shy to the attack bird that so many galley tray carriers know them as.

Momma skua watches over Baby Skua by a trail marker.

Just another pretty picture on a Baby Skua day.

After summer ended, the temperature started dropping in a hurry. I imagine that the water freezing over also took away some food sources which meant that the skuas would be heading North sooner than later. I went down a few more times and these were some of the last images taken of Baby Skua. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact the proper authorities.

Teenage skua has become self conscious about having his picture taken and hides.

Baby skua might be all grown up, but still has that awkward walk to make him easily identifiable.

Last night, I went to Scott Base for Trivia night. My team (Brian, Emily, Jill, Ellie, and Jackie) was misnamed 'Just Plain Last.' After the first round, we were 7th and struggling. After the second, we moved up to 5th. Finally after the third, we found our groove and moved up to 3rd. If we had one more round, we just might have made up ground on the first team and won the 5 half-gallons of ice cream that they ended up winning. I'm more than a little jealous. I'm going to have to start reading up on trivia to bring home the prize next time.

On the way home, Muppet gave us a ride which was fantastic. We had ten in a land rover that felt pretty crowded. He told us that they had eighteen on another night. Even more amazing that piling that many people into a clown car is that we used our headlights on the way back. It was night in town! I know this probably shouldn't amaze me so much, but it does. I haven't seen night over five months!

Baby Skua, fly well!


  1. 2nd most favorite post!

    sorry to hear baby skua has left his nest but he'll be back. :-) leave him a memento.

  2. Maybe "Baby Skua" decided to find a warm place near you guys cause he knows there is food there.