When the chicks are larger and able
to maintain their own body temperature, both parents are then able
to leave them alone to go and fish for food to feed themselves and
the growing chick. If it gets cold then the chicks then huddle together
in "creches" for warmth and protection. while both parents are able
to go off to collect food at the same time to provide for the ever
increasing needs of the growing chick.
Chick survival has a lot to do with
how the ice breaks up and so how easy it is for parents to reach
the sea. If the parents have to travel long distances, many chicks
will die of starvation. If the ice edge remains close, then the
parents will be able to provide more food and the chicks stand a
better chance of survival.
The colonies begin to disperse as
the sea ice begins to break up in December and January, the chicks
are then able to fend for themselves leaving the adults to moult
their feathers ( a time when they stay out of the water) and so
are not able to feed.
This picture by
Jerome Maison. ©
2005 Bonne Pioche Productions / Alliance De Production Cinematographique.
From the Warner Brothers film The March of the Penguins used
here by permission of
Warner Bros - March of the
Picture book of the movie