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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Incredible moment a Skua swoops down and snatches a baby penguin from the rest of the flock

Daily Mail:  Swooping towards the ground with its wings outstretched, this Skua was captured as it prepared to strike with deadly precision. The predatory bird was seen biding its time before it dived towards a flock of penguins at Volunteer Lagoon, on the Falkland Islands.

Within moments the seabird had plucked a young chick from the group and carried it into the air as those left behind squawked loudly in desperation. The chick had been at the edge of the colony at the time, making it easy prey for the wily Skua.

The dramatic scene was captured by photographer Derek Patterson who said the behaviour was 'quite common' among Skuas at this time of year.

'They usually wait until the chicks are vulnerable and swoop in to grab them from the colony,' he said. 'I spotted it completely by accident, but it was shocking to see the penguin carried off.'

The skua is known as a 'piratical' bird, as it gets much of its food by stealing from other seabirds. As well as baby penguins, the skua also preys on gulls and even puffins....read more>>>...