South Georgia: St. Andrew’s Bay – Giant Petrels

St. Andrew’s Bay offered an opportunity to observe the massive Giant Petrels up close both on the water and on the beach. These seabirds are among the largest in the world, second only to the wandering albatrosses. Unlike the latter, giant petrel don’t look graceful or beautiful, but rather like descendant of dinosaurs – menacing, huge, rough, and not friendly. They have wingspans of 6-7 ft / 1.8-2.1 m, strong build and massive wings. Giant petrels are scavengers and very opportunistic at their food choices – fish on water, parasitic attacks on other birds, seal pups or penguins and their eggs on land. Their strong curved bills allow them to rip apart carrion and carcasses of large prey.