An emperor penguin chick appears satisfied after an enormous meal.
An emperor penguin feeds its chick by regurgitating fish, squid, krill, and other goodies from the sea. Chicks at this age are not ready to swim and therefore are completely dependent on their parents for food. C’mon, small fry: eat, eat, eat!
An emperor penguin chick calls as its parent listens. The chick will often be separated from its parents as they leave the colony to feed in the sea. To reunite successfully they must first learn to recognize each other by voice. Still, how they manage to find each other in the deafening cacaphony of thousands of colony birds is both miracle and mystery to me.
Adult emperor penguins will often walk around the colony and it’s up to their chicks to keep up. Notice the clawed feet of the adult bird; these natural crampons are an adaptation for life on the ice.
Emperor penguins begin their lives atop their parents’ feet. Soon they begin venturing out on their own, often alongside one of their parents. They are adorable viewed head on, but just as cute from behind — a pear-shaped bag-o-fur shuffling along. One step at a time, little fella. And keep eating!
This is one of the smallest chicks that I observed at the colony. It is just a few weeks old but has done well to make it this far; less than a quarter of emperor penguin chicks survive their first year. Chicks must eat and grow as much as they can during the short spring season to improve their chances. Fatten up, little fella!
The tones, colors, and textures of a preening penguin.
A closer look at the natural fabric that keeps a penguin warm and dry. Mostly.