Snowy Sheathbill

Information about the Bird Snowy Sheathbill

The snowy sheathbill (Chionis albus), also known as the greater sheathbill, pale-faced sheathbill, and paddy, is one of two species of sheathbill. It is usually found on the ground. It is the only land bird native to Antarctica.

A snowy sheathbill is about 380-410mm (15-16in) long, with a wingspan of 760-800mm (30-31in). It is pure white except for its pink, warty face; its Latin name translates to "snow white".
The snowy sheathbill lives in Antarctica, the Scotia Arc, the South Orkneys, and South Georgia. Snowy sheathbills living very far south migrate north in winter.
The snowy sheathbill does not have webbed feet. It finds its food on the land. It is an omnivore, a scavenger, and a kleptoparasite. It steals krill and fish from penguins and sometimes eats their eggs and down-covered chicks. It also eats carrion, animal feces, and, where available, human waste. It has been known to eat tapeworms that have been living in a chinstrap penguin's intestine.

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