Data for:
Elephant Island
List:
Charadriiformes > Chionidae

Snowy Sheathbill

Chionis albus

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Identification

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Unique, stocky, and rather pigeonlike white bird (actually an aberrant shorebird) of Antarctic Peninsula and islands. Migrates north in winter to Tierra del Fuego and southern Argentina, where a few immatures remain year-round at sea lion and penguin colonies. Typically unafraid; walks around boldly to scavenge and even eat feces. Plumage entirely white (somehow remarkably clean given its habits) with a naked pale pinkish face and a pale green and orange bill. Flies strongly with stiff wingbeats; does not alight on water, but will hitch rides on ships.

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Snowy Sheathbill

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