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From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, December 17, 2007

We're Parents ! ! ! !

Dec 17,2007. Today we saw the first chicks the season. Of course we can't examine every nest, but a slow walk through the colony revealed four nests with newly hatched Adelie chicks. It is cold and windy today and these chicks are vulnerable so the parents are not standing up to show them to us, we must be patient and wait. These pictures shows a grey fluff ball trying to stay close to it's parent's warm brood patch, one still trying to shed the shell, one getting it's first meal, and one just starting the process of hatching. It may take from 10 min to 1 hour to make his way into the world. Even in it's shell it is peeping, I can hear it. Cape Royds is the southern most colony of Adelie penguins and the last one to hatch. Both Capes Crozier and Bird started chick hatching several days ago. The more southern a breeding colony, the later the arrival of penguins and therefore the later the eggs are laid. The breeding season here is short, these birds have a very small time window to raise their chicks before the winter weather sets in and the sea ice begins to grow again. For more pictures and daily updates on the chicks go to penguinscience.com or explore other animals of the Antarctic. Life in the polar regions

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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

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