Penguin flags
    This journal is brought to you by...

    This journal brought to you by Crosswind Elementary students:

    • Lily Parsons in 4th grade
    • Mary Addisyn Stubbs in 4th grade
    • Lilly Xu in 4th grade
    • Hudson Tupper in 1st grade
    • Reid Hays in 1st grade
    • Olivia Erwin in 3rd grade
    • Aliya Ali in 3rd grade
    • Kayla Long in 2nd grade
    • Luke Cahill
    • Maggie Webber in 2nd grade

    This journal brought to you by Crosswind Elementary students:

    Penguin flags
    This journal is brought to you by...

    • Samantha Wardrop in 1st grade
    • Sam and Westen Demsky in 1st grade
    • Bryanna Lindsay in Kindergarten
    • Nandini Ravinootala in 1st grade
    • Asima Ali in 3rd grade
    • Abhi Bhatla in 4th grade
    • Lindsey Houser in 3rd grade
    • Morgan lee in Kindergarten
    • Avery Casteel in 1st grade
    • Colton Brainard in 5th grade
    • Shelby Wines in 4th grade

    Peeking in on the Penguins!

    We've seen penguins, we've finally seen them!

    These adorable birds are all over the Ross Sea, but we haven't had a chance to see them until now. And we were lucky enough to see two different species in one day.

    Did you know there are 17 penguin species in the world, and only 7 of them are considered Antarctic penguins, meaning they breed on or near the continent? Two of those are found near McMurdo Station.

    Can you guess which ones?

    Emperor and Adelie
    Emperor (right) and Adelie (left) penguin near Cape Royds. Photo credit: Penguin Science.

    Emperors and Adelies

    You’re probably familiar with Emperor penguins, as they have been featured in many movies. They are tall and regal-looking. It’s so exciting to find groups on the ice!

    Emperor penguins
    Emperor penguins on the ice. Aren’t they stunning! Photo credit: Alex Eilers

    Adelie penguins are adorable, and they always seem to be up to something!

    Adelie penguins
    Adelie penguins heading to the water. Photo credit: Alex Eilers.

    Our team visited the science group at Cape Royds and we were in for a treat... nesting season!

    For obvious reasons we couldn't get too close, but our new friends let us share some of the photos they have taken. You can check their daily stories here

    Here's a snippet posted on December 5...

    Nest Design "Even in the same nesting area with the same source of rocks, penguins have their own preferences and what is the best rocks for a nest. One has chosen large rocks and the other small ones. What drives them to make these choices? Another mystery yet to be solved."

    Adelie nexts
    Adelie penguin nests. Notice the different size rocks. Photo credit: Penguin Science.

    Pack-ice penguins

    Both of these penguin species are specially adapted to live in an EXTREME environment, but there are quite a few differences in the way they live. Check out this chart:

    Emperor and Adelie chart
    What differences do you see between Emperors and Adelies?

    Now, let’s see what you know… How much taller is an Emperor penguin than an Adelie?

    • Which penguin can dive longer?
    • Why do you think that is?
    • Which penguin has a larger population?
    • Can you think of a reason why? (Hint: There could be many reasons for this, but one might have to do with where they make their homes.)
    • What other differences did you notice?
    • Where do they raise chicks?

    Penguin life cycle

    Penguins are busy throughout the year! Like other birds, a penguin’s year includes laying eggs and raising chicks. This graphic shows a full year for an Emperor penguin, which is especially unique because of the great lengths they travel to find a suitable rookery. Did you notice that they do all of this without ever flying? Their wings won’t lift them off the ground, but if you saw them swim, you might say they were flying through water!

    Emperor life cycle
    Take a look at what penguins are doing right now, and then follow their activity for a whole year!

    Check out this Penguin Cam by Penguin Science to see photos taken daily at 9:30 CST from Cape Royds in the Ross Sea.

    Teachers, click this link for a list of children’s books about penguins to look for in your library!

    And TAKE A CLOSER LOOK at each of these amazing birds in these journals from my previous expedition: Adelies and Emperors.