Penguins in Antarctica
We were super excited to be on our way to Antarctica…land of the penguins. Some people think that there are penguins in the Arctic but this is not so. We have seen the occasional penguin in the Galapagos Islands and I believe they are dotted around other countries of the world, but definitely not in the Arctic. There are several species of penguins in Antarctica. Today we are following the Adelie which can be found along the entire coast and small Islands of Antarctica where there are rocks.
In Antarctica you have to follow the rules in regards to approaching the wildlife. You have to stay 15 meters distance away. However, no one has told the rules to the penguins or the seals and they will come very close to you. (Watch out for the aggressive Fur Seals when the pups are around.) You just stand still and they wander around you. They do not seem to mind the penguins of the human kind all dressed in turquoise blue coats from the Hurtigruten Fram Cruise Ship.
Mostly all lined up as they stick to the paths.The penguins are so cute. They have their own highways as they travel from the beach up to their colonies. You can see the trails easily as their poop is pinkish and turns the snow that colour.
Sometimes they do snow swimming which makes their white shirt a disgusting colour and they for sure need to go take a bath in the sea.
The Adelie are approx. a foot high. They love the pebbly beaches and the rocks. They stand on rocks usually in small groups looking at the ocean making their minds up whether or not to go in for a swim.
Once they are in the water they dive in and out like porpoises. Frolicking and having a whale of a time. No pun intended.
At nesting time they do not mind sharing space with cormorants. They make their nests out of pebbles…the only material available. Mother’s keep a watchful eye for males who try to snatch a stone from their nest and then take it to their own nest and give it as a gift to their own mate.
Mother’s sit very patiently on their nests and when the chicks are hatched they keep them tucked under to keep them safe from predators. Occasionally lifting their bodies to give us a lucky glimpse of the chicks, but watch out for pooping chicks as it goes for a tremendous distance. Probably so the nest does not get fouled up. Just the people busy watching.
Can you ever get too much of penguins…I don’t think so. Personally I could take photos of them for ever.
Line up boys !