Penguins and Orcas and Seals, oh my!

In Antarctica, there are plenty of animals.

There are penguins, whales, seals, and many more creatures. IMG_1175

There are mean birds like skuas, cute birds like penguins, busy birds like shags, and beautiful birds like Antarctic terns.

Skuas like to steal penguin eggs. I saw one steal an egg and fly off with it. Here is a brown skua staking out a penguin nest.

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Most of the penguins we saw were either Gentoo, Adelie, or Chinstrap. Here are a couple of chinstraps:

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We also saw shags collecting seaweed to build their nests.

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Can you see the baby birds with this mother?

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The Antarctic tern hovers like a hummingbird over the water. Here are two Antarctic terns flying:

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There are also grumpy whales like Fin whales, playful whales like Humpback whales, and hungry whales like Orcas.

We saw some whales near the Antarctic convergence:

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Can you see the whale tails in these photos?

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One of the best parts of our trip was the fact that several wildlife and nature experts were on board. Simon, part of the staff, was basically our bird expert. He taught a lot of people, including me, a lot of stuff about the wildlife we would be seeing.

He also helped me use the binoculars to spot various birds that flew alongside our ship, such as Cape Petrels and Wandering Albatrosses. (See, he taught me a lot; I actually know what those birds are!)
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The Black-browed Albatross:

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Cape Petrel:

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Wandering Albatross (the bird with the largest wingspan in the world):

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Here is Simon helping me identify the Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins on one of our landings:

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Bruce, another staff member, was our whale guy.

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He was pretty good at spotting the whales and could easily, like Simon, figure out what kind of whale we were seeing.

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One of our best gifts on Christmas Day was a visit from several Orcas. We took the Zodiacs out to cruise around and get a closer look at them. They were spectacular!

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One of the penguin highlights on trip was seeing a small chick at Port Lockroy. I actually saw the mother regurgitating food into the baby’s mouth. He was really cute!

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One kid got footage of penguins underwater, too! I might try to make a funny montage of penguins, myself. If I do, I’ll be sure to tell you guys! In the meantime, here are a few more pictures of penguins.

This guy was stuck way out on an iceberg. He is probably still there!

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Two Chinstraps:

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Chinstraps and Gentoos together:

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Nesting Chinstraps:

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And more Gentoos:

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And more Chinstraps:

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Did you know that penguins travel along Penguin Highways? They follow the same path to pack down the snow and make it easier to walk from their nests to the water.

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When penguins are getting ready to build a nest together, they bow to each other. It shows that they will be good at collecting rocks to build a nest.

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I had a lot of fun trying to get pictures of headless penguins. Don’t worry, his head is still there — you just can’t see it!

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Penguins can’t fly in the air, but they can definitely fly in the water:

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A Gentoo with an Adelie:

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The staff kept track of all of the wildlife we saw along the trip. Here is a list of our sightings:
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Since the scenery was so beautiful and the wildlife was so fascinating, you can understand why everyone was taking thousands of photographs. We called it the Penguin Paparazzi.

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This must be what it feels like to be a penguin:

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I hope you enjoyed my wildlife report!

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6 Responses to Penguins and Orcas and Seals, oh my!

  1. Susan Germann/akaNonna says:

    Wow Elliot – I’m super impressed with your in-depth knowledge of penguins! I always thought a penguin was a penguin! The only place I ever saw them was at a mall in Dallas around Christmas. They did not seem happy there! Ask your mom if she remembers. I’ll definitely be interested in learning more from you. Keep taking photos! I’ll probably never get there and can enjoy living vicariously through your sweet eyes! Love you – Nonna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. all7in7 says:

    Hi Nonna, penguins are actually really funny! I’m working on a video for you right now!

    Like

  3. Margaret Molz says:

    Breathtaking elliot! So glad you all had such a fun Christmas! Look forward to hearing all the stories of your adventures! Where to next? Hugs! Aunt Margaret

    Like

  4. Laura Cardin says:

    Loved this post!! Pictures were awesome! My favorite is probably the mama penguin with her baby, great shot! Christmas morning in Antarctica whale watching sounds like a fairy tale. So cool.

    Like

  5. all7in7 says:

    The mama penguin with the baby was my favorite, too!

    Like

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