Antarctica rocks… The penguins would agree, but join me for one last visit to the snowy continent to see what this really means for the birds.
Thank you for journeying to the seven continents to celebrate nature with me
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A lone penguin spots a rock peeking out from under the snow. It lowers its head and inspects the stone at eye level. Not too big. Not too small. Approving, it secures the rock in its beak and tugs this treasure from its snowy blanket. The penguin looks right, looks left, then lifts its wings to the sides for balance and half wobbles, half slides down the hill.
At the next nest over, slapping sounds erupt. The penguin tending this nest cringes under the pummeling blows of two penguins towering above, one on either side. The nesting bird holds its ground, but the standing penguins flail their wings in a gang-style beating, smacking relentlessly.
The prostrate penguin twists to nip at one of its attackers and the other leans in to steal a rock. As the defending bird turns to rescue the stolen nest material, the other attacker plucks a rock from the other side. The thieves scatter in opposite directions while the hapless resident rearranges its nest with its bill, nudging the remaining rocks into a tighter core.
The attackers prove to be neighbors and with as much tenderness as they’d just displayed violence, they proffer their stolen goods to their nest-tending partners. The partners pluck the gifts from the snow and add them to their nests without remorse. Source is not to be questioned in a land of boundless snow and limited rocks.
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To read the other posts in this series, please click on this link.