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So this makes me wonder: Aren't the emps breeding and tending young now?Are these a bunch of non-breeders or are these breeders on their way to feed or returning to their colonies with the family dinner? I do enjoy the pictures, anyway. This is my favorite wildlife newsfeed! Fast and accurate...almost real-time. More timely than National Geographic. Amazing.
Yes, they are breeding right now...and the theory is, that these groups of explorers that are miles from any colony, wandering about during the breeding season, are immatures that are lost (blind leading the blind). Or maybe they were bored 'teenagers' that wanted to get away. Researchers down here take advantage of this during this time of year, in that they can do their research on these wanderers because they are fairly certain that they are nonbreeders and so won't have an impact on nest/nestling survival if they do any experiments. The nearest emperor colony is at Cape Crozier...the opposite side of Ross Island from us (ie the other side of Mt Erebus)