Apart from the great albatrosses (Wandering and the two royals), I think I like the storm-petrels the most of all the birds in the Drake Passage. Somehow I can understand how a large bird survives in such a harsh and stormy environment. But these tiny storm-petrels are also found in the middle of the ocean, flapping their wings and searching for food. Because of their habit of trampling on the water, in order to stir up some food, they have gotten their nickname “Jesus-bird”. However, because they are so small and they usually stay close to the surface, it is very difficult to take good pictures.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel ‘walking’ on water.


During our whale encounter, we had several Wilson’s around our zodiacs. It looked like they were specifically feeding in the ‘footprint’ of the whales, the area of flat water that is left after the whale has disappeared again. As we were with the zodiacs really close to those whales, the Wilson’s were also not that far away, finally allowing me to take nice pictures of these interesting birds.

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.

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