Molting Adult Gentoos
My most amazing Antarctic experience! I sat down on a rock and this penguin waddled over and spent 15 minutes checking me out, he crawled through my legs, bit my pants, jacket and fingers and then just hung out next to me. Such a special experience to have a wild animal choose to interact with you.
By mid-March in Antarctica all of the new penguins had hatched and most had already fledged. This meant that many of the adults had left land for the season and were back out at sea. The young penguins were molting out of their adorable downy coats and getting their real feathers. The downside, fewer penguins, the upside, many friendly and curious chicks!The rules – stay 5 meters from the penguins, which was difficult at times because there were so many penguins everywhere. An interesting and fortuitous quirk of human-penguin interactions; the humans know the rules and have to follow them, the penguins do not know the rules and hence tend to do whatever they wish which led to many amazing penguin encounters. They are busy little creatures waddling around on land, preening, chasing each other, chasing an adult in hopes of a meal and splashing around in the water. It is unbelievable that these little guys can spend so much time at sea and survive in these freezing waters, they are real hardy animals. Again with the photos, if you click on them the caption should appear.