Shop Windows to the Universe

Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.

   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook/Penguin Science

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, December 14, 2007

Theeeeeeere Baaaaaack!!!!!

With the return of the Adelie Penguins to Cape Royds, the predatory South Polar Skua is not far behind. These birds will makes their nests and lay their eggs very near or within the penguin colony. First the penguin eggs, then the chicks become an easy food source for the Skua family.

Skuas work in pairs, One distracts the nesting penguin, while the other waits for the exact moment to grab the egg or chick from the nest. Skuas are one reason Adelie Penguins build their nests in groups and in the rocks. The small sub-colony in the picture was full of nesting penguins a week ago, but it is exposed and not a large enough group to fend off the attacks. You can see there is only one nest left. We will watch this nest to see if they survive.

To see more pictures of Adelie Penguins and Antarctica go to www.penguinscience.com

Cryosphere and climate change

Go to the next postcard

Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Cryosphere and Global Climate Change

Changes in the cryosphere have a considerable impact on global climate. This is because the cryosphere is an important part of the Earth system and because it is so interconnected with other parts of the...more

Penguins Fight Back

The South Polar Skua scratch a small patch of land and lay their brown spotted eggs on the ground, frequently very close to breeding Adelie Penguins. Skuas are ever-present predator of penguin breeding...more

Adelie Penguins Return to Cape Royds

Today, Nov 18, 2007, we arrived at the Adelie Penguin breeding colony at Cape Royds on Ross Island, Antarctica. This year about 2000 pairs of penguins have decided to build their nests and raise their...more

Antarctica Bound

The breeding season for Adelie Penguins is Nov-Feb. This is summertime for Antarctica even though the temperature rarely gets above freezing. Our team of penguin researchers left the states on a journey...more

Penguin Sense of Decor

All Adelie Penguin nests are not alike. These birds have different ideas of what makes a pretty nest. Rocks are the only material available, but variations in construction abound. Some are big, over 2...more

It's Quiet Time in the Nursery

Most of the eggs at Cape Royds are laid before the end of November. The breeding season is very short because the Antarctic summer is very short. If Adelie parents do not get their chicks raised and fledged...more

Visitors to the Cape

Cape Royds is the nesting ground for over 2000 breeding pairs of Adelie Penguins. The only other Antarctic penguin, the Emperor, does not make a nest. Instead Emperor Penguins keep the eggs warm by holding...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF