It's Quiet Time in the Nursery
Most of the eggs at Cape Royds are laid before the end of November. The breeding season is very short because the Antarctic summer is very short. If Adelie parents do not get their chicks raised and fledged (able to take care of themselves) before the winter sets in, their efforts will be lost as the chicks will not be strong enough to survive. Generally, as soon as the female lays her second egg she leaves the male in charge of the nest and returns to the ocean to replenish her weight loss due to the eggs. In this picture you see an entire group of nesting birds without their mates near by. Probably all the eggs that will be laid in this group have been laid and all the mates are out at sea. It is quiet time until the mates return. To learn more about Adelie Penguins go to www.penguinscience.com and then the "education" page.
Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula
Go to the next postcard
Postcards from the Field: Adelie Penguins 2007