12 April 2012


Time-lapse video of penguin colonies shows challenges of snow and cold.

Two penguin rookeries in Antarctica appear in time-lapse over the course of a year. The footage was shot by researchers from the Zoological Society of London and the University of Oxford:
By adapting existing camera technology and using time-lapse photography, we are trialling the development of a new monitoring array for the southern polar region. By monitoring remotely, we hope to be able to ask new questions about the response of Antarctic penguins to their changing world.  
Cameras capture daily images of the movements of the penguins, allowing us to collect data on the timings of penguin life cycles at different locations, such as their time of arrival to breed and chick fledging. 
The first colony on the video is of gentoo penguins at Brown Bluff on the Antarctic Peninsula... Penguins come and go, then mostly go. The whiteout of winter snows buries the camera. The snow melts, penguins return to establish nests as new snow falls and melts.
Gentoo penguins with chicks. Credit: Liam Quinn via Wikimedia Commons.

The second colony in the video is of king penguins at the much more populated Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island, where about 200,000 birds gather to nest... You can see that as winter approaches, and as the parents go off to fish for them, the brown woolly chicks huddle together for warmth in groups known as crèches.
King penguins with chicks. Credit: Ben Tubby via Wikimedia Commons.

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