Monday, April 25, 2011


Each year, on or about the 25th of April, the Adelie penguins of Ross Island leave their brooding grounds and swim to their winter sanctuary northwest of the Balleny Islands. Some decided to mark the occasion by including all penguins and dubbing the day World Penguin Day.

Most penguins do participate in migratory habits. Why they favor some places more than others as their destination is the current  work of biologists. Current belief is that the Adelies favor a place that has more pack ice, thereby providing more protection.  This appears to be true, as the Davis Station Adelies migrate north, then west, staying close to the Antarctic continent. Also, Antarctica's days become much shorter and the Adelies do not feed well in the dark. Traveling north, these birds have longer days in order to fish and feed.

Other penguins migrate, as well. The Magellanic penguins of South America travel to Mar del Plata, where usually there is more food and less harsh conditions; however, in the past few years, the Magels have suffered many losses due to inadequate food. The Falkland Island Rockhopper Penguins have traditionally migrated to coastal South America, and the northernmost of the colonies favored the areas along the Patagonian Shelf.  The Macaronis stay in the sub-Antarctic area, mostly at sea, during their migration from their breeding grounds.

These are just a few instances of penguin migration; the point is that they do migrate and when they do, this action initiates the end of the breeding season and the beginning of a new life in the vast southern ocean for thousands of newly molted juveniles.

Welcome to your world, little guys. Bon voyage!!! 

Antarctica Adelie[1]

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