Peterman Island is located alongside the Western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula at 65.12 S and 64.08 W
FullScreen Panorama week 25
|Requires QuickTime, go to www.panoramas.dk for more info
The picture is taken in the bed of a retreated small glacier, with a Roundshot 220 VR panoramic camera on Kodak Portra 160 NC film.
The Island is a rookerie of Blue eyed shags and some Adelie Pinguins.
Blue eyed shags are the only member of the cormorants to venture down into the Antarctic proper.
They are found particularly along the Scotia arc islands and down the Antarctic peninsula, venturing as far as 68 degrees south.
They are characterized by the vivid eye colour and the orange / yellow growth at the base of the beak that becomes particularly large and bright during the breeding season.
They feed mainly on fish frequently forming a "raft" made up of dozens or hundreds of birds that repeatedly dive down onto the
shoals below helping each other by panicking the fish into having nowhere to go except into the beak of the next bird.
They are excellent divers with a recorded maximum dive of 116m. Once underwater they use their powerful webbed feet to propel
Blue eyed shags nest in colonies with other birds of the same type and sometimes with no other species there at all.
Peterman Island is home to a large culture of these birds, and a very loud and smelly place it is too! Like many types of penguins these shags are adept and compulsive thieves stealing the unguarded nest material from any
neighbouring nests if at all possible. A habit that contributes to a raucous and very lively colony. Blue eyed shags are not birds of the ice, usually staying out of the way of sea-ice. They are unique in antarctic and sub-antarctic birds
in that they will maintain a nest year-round where the sea remains ice-free. They never venture far from their nest site out to sea and because of this were welcomed by the early explorers and sealers who were looking for isolated areas of land in the vast sea-scape of the southern ocean.
Shag chicks are unique amongst Antarctic birds in that they have the only chicks that are born naked with no down. This makes them particularly susceptible to bad weather and especially dependent on their parents when very young.One of the people that went on this expedition, saw a shag flying away, and exclaimed "That pinguin can fly" not noticing
that this was another species. You can see the birds and there young sitting on the edge of the rocks.
Jan van der Woning