Cape Royds Nest Check 2014-15
Cape Royds is a small colony of about 2100 nests. It has declined in size since 2000, when there were 4000 nests. The decline was due to a large iceberg that grounded about 60 km (40 miles) north and caused McMurdo Sound to be completely ice covered. This made it difficult for Royds penguins, who had to walk much longer distances than they like. Therefore, many penguins left Royds to find nests in colonies closer to open water. In 2007 water was much closer, only a few kilometers away, penguins started to return to Cape Royds. In 2008, the open water was again about 75 km away and the penguins had to walk further to get here, many decided not to, and there were fewer nests. About half of the nests that were started were lost as the brooding parent could not wait for the foraging parent to return. Hunger forced them to abandon the eggs.
The open water was about a 2km from the colony at the start of the 2009 season and made it much easier for the penguins to reach the colony, but for some reason egg laying was delayed by several days. This also delayed hatching and meant that many chicks would not be ready when the winter conditions closed in. In the 2011 season we had the biggest chicks we have ever seen as the ocean was close and was plentiful. The 2013-14 season also provided early open water so it was a good year for the penguins, but we saw more Skuas than usual and predation was heavy. Every season presents new mysteries to solve, join us as the 2014-15 season unfolds.
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|Picture of the Day. If you would like to see all the pictures from this year go HERE.|
Nov 26, 2014
Skuas are back. Now that the eggs are being laid at Cape Royds, the Skuas are back. These birds are looking for easy meals by stealing eggs out from under the penguins. Skuas work in pairs as you see here, one will distract the nesting penguin, the other will sneak in and grab the egg. It is hard for us to watch this, but we are not allowed to interfere.
If you would like to see more about penguin predation go HERE
|Daily pictures of each nest . To see all the past pictures click on the nest #|
|Blackie on the nest with 2 eggs.|
|Toby on the nest with 2 eggs.|
|Bob on the nest with 2 eggs.|
|Percy on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|PeeWee on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|Karlsson, two eggs. Momo has left for the ocean to feed.|
|Nest #7 .|
|Emma is back on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|Jackson is on the nest, two egg. Mordovia has left for the ocean to feed.|
|the male is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Waddles is on the nest, 2 eggs.|