As I prepare to leave for Alaska today, I wanted to share one more post on the Emperor penguin chicks before I turn my attention to the Alaskan wildlife–grizzlies, eagles and more! The Emperor penguin chicks spend a lot of time on their tummies while on the sea ice and were a pleasure to watch.
Some were very curious about their surroundings and I was able to make eye contact as they spread out their wings to enjoy as much of the cool ice as possible. While we were in Antarctica, the days were unseasonably warm with temperatures into the 50’s Fahrenheit. The sea ice felt good to everyone!
Some of the chicks even nodded off while sprawled out on the ice, and the one below was just a few seconds from closing its eyes for a nice slumber.
When they really needed to cool off or were perhaps a little hungry, they ate some of the ice! The little guy below didn’t even have to move and could eat his meal right where he was lying.
When I was in the right position, I could capture a chick as it lifted its head while it was chowing down on the sea ice.
Sometimes the penguin chicks became a little rowdy and called out to their parents for food. When they were especially lazy, they did it from the lying down position and flapped their wings. I caught the one below in mid-action.
The range of its wings was quite impressive as this penguin chick was able to reach behind his back as it called out loudly to its parent.
When they got tired of lying in one location, sometimes they just moved on their bellies and pushed with their feet and wings to slide on the sea ice.
If they got tired or hot, food and cold ice was always nearby with a quick dip of the face in sea ice. 🙂
It always made for a great image when they popped their heads back up with a beak covered in ice crystals.
When they got tired of lying on the sea ice, the task then became how to get the body vertical. Since they are very skilled at dipping their heads and beaks into the sea ice, why not do this for standing up as well?
As you can see in the image below, the head became a great stabilizer with the wings pushing the body upright. It was quite a comical scene.
I hope you enjoyed Emperor penguin chick belly time and stay cool in this summer heat!
You can view these images individually and more not posted here in my portfolio located here.
I am heading to Anchorage tonight and then to Lake Clark for a week followed by a week in Prince William Sound on a small research vessel. I hope to post and share when I can.
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