Image courtesy of Jean Pennycook

From: Jean Pennycook
Cape Royds, January 7, 2007

The Crèche is On

These chicks are just over 3 weeks old and have formed a crèche. They will huddle together against the cold and the Skuas while both parents are out feeding. Today is particularly cold and windy, so you can see they have packed themselves closely. As I watched, the outside one would shove and push its way into the middle, using its head to move the others aside and its feet to push itself in. Everyone would resettle and then the exercise would start again with the new outsider wanting in. They are not far from their nest sites and when the parents return there will be a vocal display as each parent searches and recognizes its own chick.

Penguins and Polynyas

The South Polar Region

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

Researchers Locate Special Penguin Habitats!

Scientists have recently discovered that thousands of Adelie Penguins thrive in patches of the chilly Southern Ocean near Antarctica's coastline. In these special areas of the ocean, called polynyas,...more

The Antarctic Region

What Will You Find There? South of the Antarctic Circle (at 66.5°S latitude) you will find the continent of Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean, the geographic South Pole and the magnetic South...more

Fluffly is Cute, But it Doesn't Work in the Wind

Penguins are not the only ones raising their chicks at Cape Royds, Antarctica. Families of Skua ring the colony and prey on first the penguin eggs, and then the penguin chicks to feed their own. The two...more

Open Water at Last

The last few days have been particularly stormy. Heavy winds have caused the sea ice to shift, break up and move out. We have been watching it from the hut and are amazed how fast it has occurred. Near...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

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