of the World
Aptenodytes forsteri, Antarctica
The Emperor Penguin of Antarctica is the largest of the
penguins standing as tall as 4 feet and weighing as much as 100 lbs!
They can dive more than 800 feet and stay underwater for almost 20
Emperor Penguins breed on the open windy pack
ice during the long, cold Antarctic winters 30 to 70 miles from the coast.
Beginning with the female, after she lays an egg, parents then take turns,
brooding while the other traverses the long distance on foot to then
forage for fish and crustaceans at sea for weeks.
Macaroni Penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus
Macaroni Penguins stand little more than 2 feet tall and can weigh more than 10
pounds. Their breeding range extends from the Antarctic Peninsula to far
southern South America and many islands in between. They will travel to the
islands off South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand foraging for
fish, crustaceans and squid.
Before similar looking birds were discovered in the
southern hemisphere, the Great Auk or Garefowl was also known as a Penguin, although it is
unrelated to true penguins. The Great Auk inhabited the coasts and islands of the
North Atlantic from Virginia and Ireland to Greenland and Iceland almost to the Arctic
Circle. The flightless bird was easily captured. They and their eggs fed many
sailors. Shorebirds that breed in a limited number of colonies at only certain
locations are highly susceptible to concentrated stresses and the Great Auk was extinct by
mid Nineteenth Century.
Alca torda, North Atlantic
Razorbill females lay one egg each year on
high cliffs above North Atlantic rocky ocean shores. They can dive to hundreds
of feet, but usually forage for fish in the more shallow coastal waters.
Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica, North
The Atlantic Puffin is a seabird that lives in
the North Atlantic and dives for fish. It is related to the extinct Great Auk,
stands about a foot tall and weighs less than one pound.
Dovekie (Little Auk)
The Dovekie, or Little Auk, is a tiny, 8"
long, 7 oz auk that lives in coastal mountain side colonies of the far northern
Atlantic and Norwegian Sea. The little birds dive for small fish, crustaceans
and other small invertebrates.