From Antarctica to Alaska

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 410 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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!

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 410 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 390 mm, f/8.0, 1/1250, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/8.0, 1/2000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 360 mm, f/8.0, 1/1600, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 390 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 390 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 450 mm, f/8.0, 1/1250, ISO 400, hand-held.

If they got tired or hot, food and cold ice was always nearby with a quick dip of the face in sea ice. 🙂

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 450 mm, f/8.0, 1/1250, ISO 400, hand-held.

It always made for a great image when they popped their heads back up with a beak covered in ice crystals.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 450 mm, f/8.0, 1/1250, ISO 400, hand-held.

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?

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 420 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 420 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

I hope you enjoyed Emperor penguin chick belly time and stay cool in this summer heat!

Image: Emperor penguin chick, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400, hand-held.

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.

Please also check out my new business for pain relief, PABR Institute, at www.pabrinstitute.com, and subscribe to my email articles to get tips to help you find relief in your body.

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

16 thoughts on “From Antarctica to Alaska”

    1. Lol. I understand that life gets busy! Ooh, you are going to some nice places. I haven’t been to any of them but I’ve heard a lot about them, especially from the boat owners. Be on the lookout for brown and black bears!

      Liked by 1 person

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