On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

Prepare for joy – we have a wonderful follow-up to a memorable post a few months back.  Thanks for re-submitting this!


Today, pictures from valued commenter arrieve.

(I submitted these by email a while back and don’t think they ever ran — the second set from Antarctica.)

Penguins were definitely the highlight of Antarctica for me. The opportunity to see so many of them up close, going about their penguiny business, never stopped being thrilling. The pictures still make me smile, and I hope they’ll have the same effect on all of you. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just a few pictures — I have enough to start my own Penguin-A-Day calendar for the next year.

We saw three species of penguin: Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie. (No emperors, alas — they are usually found more inland, and they are the snobs of the penguin world and won’t hang out anywhere where there are other penguins species around.) Here is a chinstrap on King George Island.

Petermann Island, Antarctica

A group of Adelies on Petermann Island (the all-black fuzzball is a juvenile). This is one of the ways we were able to see the impact of climate change in Antarctica — 10 years ago, the penguin population on Petermann was almost all Adelie. Now it’s almost all Gentoo. The Adelies prefer colder weather and Petermann has become too warm for them. I love those googly eyes!

Some of the usurpers: a Gentoo family on Petermann Island (with a few Adelies in the background.)

Petermann Island, Antarctica

Because the chicks can’t really go in the water until they get their adult waterproof feathers, sometimes they’re adorably bedraggled.

Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Fun fact: penguin poop is pink. Their diet is mostly krill, so the poop is both colorful and smelly. And if you happen to slip on one of those snowy hills and get it on your waterproofs, it’s also pretty indelible. By the end of the trip, we all smelled a little like penguin. This Gentoo colony is on Cuverville Island.


Thank you so much arrieve, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

12 replies
  1. 1
    satby says:

    Awesome arrieve! Thanks for sharing these and following up so we got to see them.

  2. 2
    Raven says:

    So cool!

  3. 3
  4. 4
    JPL says:

    Alain, thank you again for the morning post that allows others to share their adventures.
    Penguins are so cute.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    I love penguins!

  6. 6

    Opus taught me that Penguins eat krill.

  7. 7
    HinTN says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That Opus was chock full of life smarts.

  8. 8
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Wow! That is all.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    Sweet little guys!

  10. 10
    Tenar Arha says:

    Wow. So wonderful to see these.

  11. 11

    Wonderful closeups. Were you allowed to approach the birds closely? What were the rules of engagement? No touching? It would be hard not to want to.

  12. 12
    arrieve says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: We were supposed to stay at least 15 feet away from them, and most of these pictures were taken from that distance. However, the penguins go where they want to go, sometimes quite close. The nice thing about flightless birds is that you can follow them and have an actual chance of getting a picture.

Comments are closed.