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: Quest For the Beak: Part V
May 7, 2007

“Mmm, Gelflings!”

Well, we finally get to see the Giant Petrel King. Giant petrels are known as the vultures of Antarctica. Aside from the Wandering Albatross they are about the largest of the scavenger birds there and able to dominate in the feasting of carcasses. They’re carrion feeding ways earned them the name “Stinker” from whalers. They are also not strangers to feeding on singled out penguin chicks or even sick or weak penguins.

I forgot to mention snow petrels the other day, when Howie showed up in the comic. They are definitely much prettier and smaller than their vulture-like cousins. They feed mostly on fish and krill but will feed on carrion as well. They are also pretty much exclusive to Antarctica being one of the only bird species that breed exclusively on the continent (along with emperor penguins and South Polar skuas). They usually nest in rock cliffs near the sea. Video footage of them bathing in the snow (rolling around on their backs in it) seems to be popular among Antarctic documentaries and is pretty cute as well.