The nest in the center of this group has just hatched. You can see the other penguin chicks are much larger and almost ready to crech (leave the nest). Although right now the adults do not have trouble finding food, it is very unlikely these chicks will be old enough or large enough to molt and be ready to swim by season end. We will watch them as long as we can, and hope for the best.
The breeding season for Adelie Penguins is very short, the Antarctic weather is unforgiving, winter comes early and the sea ice will start to grow before late hatchlings like these are able to swim and fend for themselves.
For more information about penguins go to www.penguinscience.com
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Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2008