Colonies

Penguins are sociable creatures both on land and at sea. Their colonies — known as rookeries — are often huge, with up to a million nesting pairs. In the pure Antarctic air, you can smell a penguin rookery from a long way away! Penguins generally breed on exposed rock, beaches or tussock grass, with the exception of the emperor, which
breeds on sea-ice.


Monitoring a penguin colony involves counting the penguins daily over many months, to find out the timing of events such as egg laying and hatching. With thousands
of pairs in a colony, this is not an easy task! When adults return fromthe sea to feed the chick their diet is analysed. Satellite tracking monitors the location of penguins at sea. All this data is tied in with information about the krill, fish and squid in the nearby waters to build up a picture of how penguins go about their business.

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