Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Penguin behaviours

Vicky, our new boss deserves a lot of credit. Despite the busy construction programme, fun trips are still running on the weekend to take in the sights of the area. On Sunday morning, after some pleasant kiting, I got asked if I fancied another trip down to the coast. I honesty didn't expect to get another so checked if anyone might have missed out. They hadn't, and the place was definately mine, so off we went.

The ice was a lot more broken with much fewer birds than a month ago. Those that remained were mostly chicks in the last stages of malting into their adult plumage, ready to take to sea. Due to the stunning heat (-1C!), the place really stank!

The full photo set is at the bottom ofhere
, but this time I tried to take pictures of penguins doing something other than looking cute.

Some Penguin Behaviors

1. Chasing off predators
I was wrong about there being no land-base predators, as the skuar will eat eggs and weak chicks. These lot seemed ok, but we found a less fortunate carcass picked clean to the bone.

2. Malting
This is an action shot, honest! You can see the adult feathers coming through as the fluffy infant coat falls off.

3. Flapping
I got too close and he didn't like it!

4. Drinking
They eat snow to drink.

5. Feeding
A few adults were still feeding chicks, but not many. If was funny to see over sized chicks pressuring parents for one last meal. Not as funny as fully grown lambs tipping over their mothers when they try to suckle, but it made me laugh all the same.

6. Looking embarrassed
Penguins love to keep themselves clean and are forever preening their coats. This one looks ashamed to be half dressed.

7. Posing
They were as curious as ever, but a bit cautious as the skuars were about.

8. Being cute
It's in their job description, and I'd get complaints if I left this off!


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