Penguins book flight home

penguins_020806

Penguins stranded on beaches in Rio de Janeiro will be flown to Antarctica, a Brazilian military official said Monday. The flightless birds trek between continents by riding ice floes that melt near Brazil’s shores.

In previous winters, the birds were rescued by biologists and sent to zoos.

This time, more than 100 birds will be able to hitch a ride to Brazil’s most southerly region when Brazil’s air force flies equipment to an Antarctic naval base next month, a spokesman for the force said.

The navy will then take the birds closer to their home in the Antarctic.

Scientists who’ve banded thousands of penguins and attached satellite transmitters to others have found more birds tend to die during cold-water years.

For example, Argentine penguins follow their sardine, anchovy and squid food sources to Brazil, but the birds may end up staying north longer than the fish, said Dee Boersma, a University of Washington zoology professor who studied a large die-off in 2000.

Source: CBC News Canada