"The Birds" of Royds
Penguins aren't the only ones that come to Cape Royds to raise their chicks. The South Polar Skua makes its home here during the same time because the pickings are easy. Penguin eggs and chicks fall prey to the Skuas, who grab them from the nests. Skuas work in teams, and penguins with isolated nests or on the edge of the breeding group are particularly vulnerable. While one Skua distracts the penguin, the other runs in for the grab. As the days go by the number of egg shells on the ice increases and the number of Skuas increase, too. This part of nature is hard to watch, but the Skuas have their chicks to raise too, and all animals in Antarctica are protected.
To learn more about Adelie Penguins go to Penguin Science or Life in the Polar Regions.
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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2008