Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, January 14, 2007

Sea of Chicks

The colony is a sea of chicks. The older ones are too big for the nests and spend most of their time sleeping, their energy being used for growing. The others stand close to their parents, waiting for the next meal. The nests, which were once neat piles of stones, are now scattered, the rocks intermingled with others. There are some parents still sitting on eggs, but it is most likely too late for them and the eggs are probably non-viable. Nests with smaller chicks who still need close guarding are closely attended by the parents. But there are less and less of these; the chicks are growing fast. The colony is very noisy now too as both parents and chicks are vocalizing greetings, feeding demands or just penguins being penguins and swapping noises.

Go to the Next Postcard

Postcards from the Field: Antarctica

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Antarctic Peninsula

The most northern edge of the Adelie penguins range is the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Owing to global climate change, temperatures are increasing and the sea ice no longer develops enough...more

Penguin Colonies

This is Ross Island, a volcanic island embedded in the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Adelie penguins are found all around Antarctica, but we will be filming the documentary at the breeding colonies shown...more

View from our home

This is a view of the Adelie penguin breeding colony at Cape Royds in Antarctica. In the foreground you see Shackleton’s hut. Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of explorers tried and failed to cross the...more

Time to Raise the Chicks

We are at Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica, a penguin breeding colony of several thousand Adelie penguins. This female is 8 years old and has been a successful breeder in the past. She was first seen...more

Ice, Fire, and Penguins

Cape Royds penguin breeding colony is in the shadow of Mt Erebus, one of three volcanoes on Ross Island and the only active one. Antarctica Explorer James Clark Ross named two of the volcanoes after his...more

Proud Parents

At long last the moment we have been waiting for, the first Adelie chick of the season. We have been scanning nest sites for broken egg shells, evidence that a chick has hatched. On Dec 12, 2006 we sighted...more

A Family of Penguins

Chicks are hatching everyday now and the colony is bubbling with new life. The air is filled with the songs of penguins returning from feeding and the growls of predatory Skua birds as they circle the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA