A busy Adelie Penguin colony.

Adelie penguins and their chicks. The Adelie Penguin colonies on the Yalour Islands in Antarctica were a hive of activity. Birds were coming and going from the colonies with food for the chicks. Some were sitting on eggs, some had very young chicks and others were constantly feeding the ever demanding larger chicks. There were constant arguments with their neighbours. Quite a sight to behold.

The Yalour Islands and rocks are some 2.8 km in extent in the southern part of the Wilhelm Archipelago on the Antarctic Peninsula. It is a stunningly beautiful part of the peninsula. They contain several colonies of breeding Adelie Penguins. Adelie Penguins can be seen sitting on eggs, feeding chicks and generally being boisterous. They are feisty birds and love a good punch up (see my film of fighting Adelie penguins: https://wildlifeaction.co.uk/trips/penguin-punch-up/).

Adelie penguins are perhaps everyone’s idea of the archetypal penguin with its black and white plumage and conspicuous white eye ring. Adelie penguins stand up to 70cm tall and weigh up to 8kg. Along with the Emperor Penguin it is the most southerly distributed of all the penguins and is found along the entire coast of Antarctica. They lay two eggs which are incubated for 32-37 days and the chicks fledge after 41-64 days. Both adults incubate and feed the chicks which after 2-3 weeks join creches which allows both parents to to feed.

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Shoot Location

Adelie Penguins in the snow Gentoo Penguins at dawn