Please visit Jen and all the pengies
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
[wiinterrr's note: so--it's true... and sadly, our own little colony is proof for it, as well.]
Gentoo Chick Mortality
(A detailed report can be downloaded as a pdf HERE.
Visitors to South Georgia this season have reported that many of the Gentoo Penguin colonies are showing signs of high chick mortality. In some cases there are no chicks at all in colonies.
The Government of South Georgia has tasked scientists to collect samples of dead chicks. Diet sampling of adults is also taking place as part of longer-term monitoring which was already underway at two locations on the island.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the mortality is caused by lack of food. Gentoo penguins feed on krill which moves around in the current of the southern ocean after spawning under Antarctic ice. There have been other indications that there is a scarcity of krill around South Georgia this season, although other species which feed on krill do not appear to be affected to the same extent.
Krill is only fished in South Georgia outside the breeding season in winter months (May – August) and the swarms which are targeted will already have moved away from the Island in the currents. Krill abundance tends to be cyclical. The present lack of krill is most likely to be caused by a poor spawning season further south. The last three recorded instances of such high chick mortality were in 1991, 1994 and 1998.
As a precaution, all visitors have been asked to remain up to 200m away from gentoo colonies. This will ensure surviving birds do not suffer any undue stress from external pressures. If further research reveals a disease is identified this will also help to minimise the risk of spreading pathogens.
Excerpts from the South Georgia Society's Newsletter of December 2008 @
Posted by Lin Kerns at 5:34 PM
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Chicks are EVERYWHERE!!!!! Although a few newbies gave up trying, those old pros that returned to nest here have a fine group of younglings that are now so large, they can no longer fit beneath their parent's body. Everywhere, one can see little chick bums as the chicks try to blot out the light and get a little sleep.
Within the week or so, there should be a few to venture out, and I can't wait to see them. :)
Posted by Lin Kerns at 5:41 PM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
As of yesterday, the chicks have grown large enough to be seen wedged against (not under) their mums and dads. At this point they become very vulnerable to predators. But what comes next is worse on obsessed parents: walking.
Once the little guys get a taste of freedom, it's hard to keep them on the nest. Of course, this causes parents to become uber-protective and extra grouchy.
Most everyone's eggs hatched during the Christmas/New Year holiday period. There is one young couple who tried vainly to produce a chick, but they had to abandon the idea when the egg did not hatch. That was sad. Two penguins staring intently at a fallow egg, waiting for the slimmest of chances that it will hatch.
Still, this is the best time of the year for penguin viewing. And this year, even South Georgia is boasting a large raft of young King penguins. How wonderful. Don't you just wish summer would never come to the Northern Hemisphere. :)
Posted by Lin Kerns at 9:25 AM