I miss being able to see serious wildlife every time I look out my window. Nothing against the crickets and domestic cats of North Carolina, but an occasional penguin would be super. Anyway, I’m posting a photo to quench my own nostalgia:
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of six-foot wingspans before. Heck, there are folks on UNC’s basketball team with wingspans much wider than that. I don’t think any of them have big, pointy beaks, though, and I’m also pretty sure none of them have ever eaten a penguin or seal. Meet the Giant Petrel: closest thing I’ve ever seen to a pterodactyl.
GoPro HD Hero camera + fuzzy hat “decoy” + curious penguin =
He got especially involved when I started building a pebble nest for the camera. Male Adelie penguins woo the ladies by bringing pebbles for their nests… this one started picking up the pebbles close to the camera with his beak, and plopping them about two feet farther away. I’m not sure whether he was trying to seduce the camera or trying to hoard the good pebbles for himself.
On Torgerson Island, near Palmer Station, an Adelie snuck up on me while I was photographing a pair of chicks. I was totally oblivious until it was nearly touching my leg. This was, incidentally, the same penguin that makes an appearance around 0:42 in the video I put up in my last post…