Chinstrap penguin chicks
 - Pygoscelis antarctica

Chinstrap penguins

Chinstraps along with many other species of penguins return to the same colony each year and often settle within a very short distance of the same nest site. The nest is a very simple affair of a pile of small stones, the main purpose being to separate it from other nests and to raise it above the surrounding ground so that melt-water from snow doesn't wet the eggs or chicks. Small stones are in short supply in the penguin colonies and so squabbles are commonplace and frequent, particularly as penguins are experienced kleptomaniacs taking nesting material from any other nest that is inadequately guarded.

These two chinstrap chicks are blissfully unaware of the dramas that await them in the not too distant future.

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Photo copyright - Paul Ward /