Dec 20 2013

Penguins As Far As The Eye Can See

King penguin colony on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

This week I read about colonial nesting in Ornithology by Frank B. Gill.  “About 13% of bird species, including most seabirds, nest in colonies.  Colonial nesting evolves in response to a combination of two environmental conditions: (1) a shortage of nesting sites that are safe from predators and (2) abundant or unpredictable food that is distant from safe nest sites.”

The book mentions king penguin colonies; sometimes they’re huge.  This one is on the Salisbury Plain of South Georgia, an island in a volcanic ridge that arcs from the southern tip of South America to the northern tip of Antarctica.  (Click here to see where it is on Google Maps.)

There are lots of king penguins in the photo above, but zoom out below and the number is stunning.  Half a million king penguins in one place!

King Penguins at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Obviously the advantages of living like this outweigh the disadvantages of occasional social strife, epidemics, or the crash of the food supply.

Imagine being in a place where there are penguins as far as the eye can see!

 

(photos from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the images to see the originals. Today’s Tenth Page is inspired by page 330 of Ornithology by Frank B. Gill.)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Penguins As Far As The Eye Can See”

  1. Gene Hendersonon 20 Dec 2013 at 8:36 am

    No wonder the Pen’s keep winning, they have such a huge sea of talent to fill in for their injured players!

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    Cheers,
    Gene

  2. Chadon 20 Dec 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Penguin version of New York City! :)

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