Small birds

New Zealand Pipit

Something that is completely lacking on Antarctica are passerine species. There are no native songbirds whatsoever. Not that there would be anything for them to eat if they would make it there. On Campbell Island (one of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands) this is different. We were welcomed by a big cloud of flies and mosquitos followed by several New Zealand Pipits. These birds were all over the islands chasing all insects. We had quite a warm day, so the insects were active and so were the pipits. For us, coming straight from Antarctica seeing those small passerines again was a welcome change to all the bigger birds we were used to.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • I wonder what Antarctica would have been like before it migrated south and become locked in ice. Still a simply beautiful and extraordinary environment, but I wonder if there are fossils a kilometre below the ice, what they can reveal to us…


    • I know there are fossils on Antarctica. Most of them are covered in ice indeed, as most of Antarctica is covered under a thick sheet of ice. But on the ice free parts fossils have been found.


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