The Pale-faced Sheathbill

The Pale-faced Sheathbill is not the most handsome of birds, it is not a species which I had heard of before my visit to the Falklands.  It is between 35 and 45 cm in length and its feathers are almost pure white in appearance.  It is found in the  South Atlantic with a range from Antarctica up to the Falklands and the Southern end of the South America coast.  It is more common further south and breeds on the Antarctic peninsular.  Indeed they appear to be the only species of birds endemic to the Antarctic and sub Antarctic regions.

It has several other names including the Snowy Sheathbill and the Greater Sheathbill, but all seem to have the same species name of Chionis albus.  It is one of two Sheathbills worldwide.   We saw plenty during our visit to the Falklands a few of which are shown below.