Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Setting up the weighbridge

The storm lasted until late Dec. 20th. On the 21st we set up the weighbridge (WB), which first requires that all newcomers pose with the loaded sledge at the top of the hill.

Ice conditions were perfect for delivering the sledge to the colony, 1km downhill, so the walk only took about 30 minutes (of course the sledge wanted to get there much faster than that, though not necessarily with intact contents). Setup went smoothly and within a few hours the WB was collecting data.

Because the penguins in this subcolony have been tagged with transponders, when they go through the reader coil their identities are recorded, along with their weights and the time, date, and direction (in or out) of travel. This lets us keep track of the condition of the penguins through the breeding season, as well as how much food they deliver to their chicks, and how long it takes for each foraging trip.


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