Make us your home page

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

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.