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Antarctic Postcard from the Field: The Nursery is Full of Life - Windows to the Universe

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   Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, Antarctica, January 5, 2008

The Nursery is Full of Life.

Compare this picture with the one from Dec 3. Then every penguin was on a nest of eggs. It was quiet and peaceful; taking care of eggs is easy, like being pregnant. Now the chicks have all hatched. It is noisy and the chicks demand food constantly, requiring more frequent trips to the ocean to forage. Parents must adjust their bodies to the wind to keep the chicks warm, as they are already too big to brood. I can tell the direction of the wind when I enter the colony because every adult with chicks will have its back to it. Every adult you see standing has one or two chicks, which they are protecting from the skuas, the cold, and the wind. They can not leave the chicks unattended for even a second, and they can not lay down because the chicks are too big. They will remain in this posture for several days. Raising Adelie Penguin chicks is hard work. Check back in a few days for the next picture of this colony as the chicks grow. For more pictures of Adelie Penguin chicks go to Cape Royds Nest Check.

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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007

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