Voice is critical survival tool for King Penguins. When the chick is old enough, King Penguins put it in one of the crèches, returning every several days with food. Both parents will leave at the same time. All the chicks in the rookery will stay together until their parents return. When the parents come home they recognize each other by the sound of their voices. Despite the thousands of youngsters crowded together on this plain in South Georgia, parents and chicks are extremely efficient in identifying each other based on individual vocalizations (which are unique to each bird), but this is only successful when the parent is within 8 meters of the chick (the hearing distance of an adult King Penguin). If a chick strays or is displaced further than 8 meters from the “rendezvous zone”, then it will not be fed and will die of starvation.
This picture was taken at Salisbury Plain, on shoreline of South Georgia, a British territory in the Southern Ocean some 1500km South-East from Falklands.
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