Glider and Pumps Fight the Waves on a Stormy Monday

Antarctica is renowned for having some of the fiercest weather on Earth. At any time of year, torrents of cold air can stream off the Antarctic continent and create vicious gales on the sea. So far we’ve been lucky to have calm seas and winds—especially on our visit to notoriously wind-whipped Cape Adare (see Jan 24 and Jan 25 posts).

Today we had just a touch of rough weather. By seafaring standards it was still nothing to worry about, but it did make us rearrange our plans to make sure none of our equipment ran the risk of being damaged. Read on through the slideshow to see what happened:

Seeing Chris’s snow petrel photos this evening reminded me of the question everyone had been asking—what do these birds eat? They seem to spend all their time flying. They sometimes sit on the water, but we rarely see them diving or dipping their heads into the water.

I asked Dr. Scott Fay, an ecologist from Temple University, what he thought about the question. He said he thought our readers could probably come up with some good ideas.

So tell us: What do you think snow petrels might eat? And what could you do to find out, using just materials that are on the ship? We have an idea, and we’ll tell you about it after we hear some ideas from you.

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About Hugh Powell

Hugh is a staff writer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is on special assignment with the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. He has previously written for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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