This entry is part 15 of 47 in the series British Antarctic Survey
For some reason a Gentoo Penguin and its chick became isolated from the colony and it wasn't long before a Brown Skua found the pair

For some reason a Gentoo Penguin and its chick became isolated from the colony and it wasn’t long before a Brown Skua found them

The Brown Skua tried to aggressively force the adult penguin away from its chick

The Brown Skua tried to aggressively force the adult penguin away from its chick

The Gentoo Penguin stands firm, warning off the Brown Skua with its own threats

The Gentoo Penguin stands firm, warning off the Brown Skua

Unfortunately this does not deter the Brown Skua and it persists

Unfortunately this doesn’t deter the Brown Skua and it persists

The Brown Skua switches technique, opting to hop side to side over the penguin in order to move the Gentoo and create space to take the chick

The Brown Skua switches technique, opting to hop side to side over the Gentoo Penguin in order to move it and create space to take the chick

The Gentoo continues to sit tight over its chick

The Gentoo continues to sit tight over its chick

The skua calls in for help from its mate who duely arrives

The Skua calls in for help from its mate who duly arrives

 

Second skua moves in for assistance

One Skua continues to hop over the adultĀ  Gentoo and lure it away from its chick, whilst the other Skua sits waiting for an opening

Skuas persist with the hopping tactics alternating between the pair

The Skuas persist alternating the hopping tactics between the Gentoo and chick

Gentoo stands strong over his chick, fending off the skuas attacks.

The Gentoo stands strong over his chick, fending off the Skuas’ attacks.

The Gentoo's bill is a powerful form of defense which has the potential to severely injure the Skuas

The Gentoo’s bill is a powerful form of defence which has the potential to severely injure the Skuas

 

Eventually the Skua's patience pays off and a gap opens which one of the pair is quick to exploit

Eventually, the Skuas’ patience pays off and a gap opens which one of the pair is quick to exploit

The Gentoo is quick to react and turns to save his chick

But the Gentoo is quick to react and turns to save his chick

Gentoo managed to make a last gasp grab of the skua making him drop the chick and injuring the skuas leg

Fortunately, the Gentoo managed to make a last gasp grab of the Skua, making him drop the chick and injuring the Skua’s leg. The sorry Skua limps back to its chicks empty-handed, whilst the Gentoo chick lives on to fight another day.

Series Navigation<< South Georgian Success!Life On Base >>
Share

5 thoughts on “Brown Skuas Versus Gentoo Penguin

  1. Great stuff Jamie. Real drama and a happy ending? Did the Gentoo return to colony with chick still intact?

  2. You had my heart a racing…. Didn’t you want to intervene oh man behind the camera? It’s wonderful story telling and hurray for the penguin

  3. A Happy ending for the time being Pete!

    Of course I wanted to intervene, but the skuas have chicks to feed to Sarah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website