Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Encounters with penguins while enduring ups, downs of Antarctic weather

We've been riding a roller coaster with the weather.

Three good days (winds less than 20 knots and seas less than 6 feet).

Then two days of getting thumped (winds of 35 to 45 knots with gusts to 60, and seas of 10 to 20 feet).

Fortunately, we've been somewhat protected in our current location, Marguerite Bay.

The penguin biologists (with your narrator able to go along for photos and to provide unskilled labor) were able to go ashore and collect data on penguin diet and general health.

Our study site was Avian Island, a speck to the south of Adelaide Island at the northern end of Marguerite Bay. During the breeding season, 90,000 pairs of Adélie penguins live here.

Far fewer birds are around right now (only dozens), and the place would better be named "Seal Island." But more on the seal situation in our next installment.

Vital statistics were recorded for each bird: beak length and width, weight, diet, and sex.

Adélies weigh 8 to 12 pounds. They are considered one of the two "high Antarctic" penguins, the other being the Emperor of March of the Penguins fame.

Adélies feed mainly on Antarctic krill and silverfish when they can get them. In Marguerite Bay, some of the birds are finding silverfish to eat, and we are getting some in our trawls as well. Not as many as we had hoped, but some.

Encounters with penguins while enduring ups, downs of Antarctic weather 04/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 12:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  4. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.
  5. British government says 75 out of 75 buildings failed fire safety tests

    World

    LONDON — Britain on Monday confronted a rapidly growing fire safety crisis after tests of the exterior cladding on dozens of public housing towers revealed a 100 percent failure rate, raising fears that this month's deadly inferno in London could be repeated elsewhere.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. A Spanish judge on Monday June 26, 2017, has ordered the remains of artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed following a paternity suit by a woman named by Europa Press agency as Pilar Abel, 61 from the nearby city of Girona. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]