Too Much Ice
This year the open water is about 35 miles away from Cape Royds. After laying their eggs our female penguins had to walk a long way to replenish their body reserves and many have not returned in time to relieve the males who are tending the eggs. In these pictures you see the loss of nests as the days past and the females did not return. Males stayed on the nest as long as they could, but they will not sacrifice themselves for the sake of the eggs. This breeding group started with 23 nests with eggs, it is now down to 15. Chicks started hatching last week and will require a constant supply of food. Parents will need to make the round trip to the ice edge on a regular basis now.
For more information and pictures go to Penguin Science and
Life in the polar regions.
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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2008