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Antarctic Postcard from the Field: Banding of the Chicks - Windows to the Universe

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   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook

From: Jean Pennycook
Beaufort Island, Antarctica, January 28, 2007

Banding of the Chicks

Beaufort Island is a bit north of Ross Island in Antarctica and there is a sizable Adelie penguin colony on the shore (40,000 breeding pairs). In the upper left picture, the light brown areas are nesting sites.

We had 3 hours to band 400 chicks. First we gathered the chicks into a corral, caught each one by hand and then placed a metal band around its wing. Each band has a different number on it. The record will show which year, and where these chicks were raised. We use these bands to see, when it is time for these birds to breed, if they return to the same place where they were born, or if they move to other locations. The bands help us to track other things too, such as how long they live. The US Coast Guard helped us get ashore and helped with the banding.

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Postcards from the Field: Antarctica

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