Cape Royds Nest Check 2013-14
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. The ocean was close and the food plentiful. Every season presents new mysteries to solve, join us as the 2013-14 season unfolds.
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|Picture of the Day. If you would like to see all the pictures from this year go HERE.|
|Dec 9, 2013|
Quiet Time. These are the last days of quiet time in the colony. The brooding mates are sitting silently on the nests keeping the eggs warm, the others are out feeding. Any day now we will start to see chicks hatch and then the work begins. The activity level will go up, parents will be going for food more frequently and there will be many more birds in the colony. I will take this same picture in 10 days to see the difference.
|Daily pictures of each nest . To see all the past pictures click on the nest #|
Nest #1 Deandre and Nikki are on the nest, 2 eggs
|Nest #2 JJ is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Nest #3 Aische is on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|Nest #4 Snowy is on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|Nest #5 Laurel is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Nest #6 Squirt is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Nest #7 Max is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Nest #8 Jackson is back and on the nest, 2 eggs.|
|Nest #9 Hershey is on the nest, 2 eggs|
|Nest #10 Madison, 2 eggs|