One Week After the First Chick Hatched
One week after their first chick hatched, (see Dec 12 postcard) this pair now has two chicks that have almost doubled in size. The parent has trouble keeping them both in her incubation pouch which is their only defense against the cold and the food demands grow daily. The colony has more chicks than eggs now as the window of hatching is becoming smaller. If chicks do not hatch soon, they will not be big enough to care for themselves when the season ends and the adults must leave. It will be another few days before they can stand on their own, and another 10 days before they will be walking around the colony. This is called the guard stage of rearing. Chicks are hatched but one parent must always stay on the nest.
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Postcards from the Field: Antarctica