I am a student participating in penguin watch for a biology class project. I would love some insight on what the penguins are doing in this picture? Any information would be great!
by gardenmaeve moderator
Hello again @ljaucter I just replied to your question about Emperor penguins, one species you will not encounter in this project.
The FAQ section tells a lot about what we're seeing here, and that's where I recommend you begin. Along with the Tutorial the FAQ gives everything you need to classify accurately and understand what you see on Penguin Watch, including rough breeding cycles for each species. 😃
These Gentoo penguins are in a rookery- the breeding ground for this group. (This is true of the other sites also- we are primarily looking at breeding grounds here since the breeding season is the one time we can count on the penguins being on land and available to observe!) The birds lying on thei bellies are brooding eggs. A few are standing at an angle in Guard position (see FAQ) showing they are likely to have hatched one or two chicks already. Some penguins are walking to or from their nest, either going fishing or changing places with their mates. There is a predatory bird in the top right corner, but we don't mark birds in the air, only when they are on ground. There is a nest with an adult in Guard position and two chicks, straight down from the moon symbol at the top of the photo, about halfway down.
This particular site is somewhere in the Falklands, and we've seen cattle, sheep and Upland geese (mark any unlisted animal as Other, then OK- don't select a species from the Other list), along with vehicles associated with tour groups visiting the rookery (mark vehicles the same as boats- mark as Vessel, and only mark the people you see on land outside of the vehicle/boat).
Again, the FAQ is the best place to start along with the Tutorial. Beyond that, you can learn a lot from the comments, questions and answers found in Talk, and there are many helpful informational links found there as well. You can study collections others have made and make your own to learn how to recognize what is happening in the photos.
Thanks for helping Penguin Watch!