Hungry Gentoo Penguin Chicks – Antarctica, 2020

Hungry Gentoo Penguin Chicks. It was an overcast, cold and blustery day with occasional snow flurries as we landed on D’Hainaut Island on the Antarctic Peninsular. It was a short hike to reach the Gentoo Penguin colony with a most impressive glacier as a backdrop. Most of the penguin couples had two chicks and the chicks were getting a very good feed.

Gentoo Penguins breed monogamously. Two eggs are laid both weighing around 130 g. The parents share incubation, changing duty daily. The eggs hatch after 34 to 36 days. The chicks remain in the nests for around 30 days before joining other chicks in the colony and forming creches. The chicks gain their subadult plumage and go out to sea at around 80 to 100 days.

D’Hainaut is a small island lying in Mikkelsen Harbor, in the Palmer Archipelago. It was charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1908–10 under Jean-Baptiste Charcot, and named by the sixth Chilean Antarctic Expedition (1952) after Lieutenant Ladislao D’Hainaut.