Tim Melling – Baby Gentoo Penguin
Tim writes: this baby Gentoo Penguin was wide awake while its parent standing guard is seizing the opportunity for a little snooze. They normally lay two eggs so it is likely that one egg or small chick will have been taken by a South Polar Skua.
The parents share incubation and child-minding duties, having daily changeovers, while the other goes in search of krill. When the chick is about a month old it leaves the nest to go into a creche with all the other chicks from the colony. The parents recognise their own chick by its voice, which seems almost unbelievable among a creche of hundreds. The chicks lose their down after about three months but have a rather bluish plumage, lacking the adult’s white bonnet.
I photographed these at Neko Harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula.