Saturday, November 15, 2008

My final post...

Punta Arenas, Chile

Two days of traveling has taken me from the southern islands of Tierra del Fuego back to the continent of South America and the city of Punta Arenas. Every minute of the last 15 days has been one incredible experience after another. I have seen birds that many die hard birdwatchers dream of seeing. I have seen dolphins porpoising at the bow of the boat, so close that I could have touched them. I left my mark on a desolated landscape. I have seen hundreds of albatross soaring in the heavy winds. A skua tried to steal my gloves. I have been rained on, snowed on, hailed on, and in seas so rough you had to tie up in the stays to keep from going overboard. I had rockhopper penguins at my feet and my boots sucked into the mud and guano past my knees.

This trip has taught me a lot about penguins, other seabirds and the nature of field work in such remote locations. In the two weeks at sea I learned how to identify many of Chile's seabirds, how to count penguins and survive on a small boat in the southern ocean. I hope that the information collected during this research trip will help to protect southern rockhopper penguin populations, and I know that I will never forget my experiences with these amazing birds!

To learn more about penguins and get your chance to see them up close and personal, visit the New England Aquarium. Our penguin exhibit has over 80 birds of 4 different species, including the southern rockhopper penguin! If you are interested in helping penguin conservation efforts find out how you can help by sponsoring one of our animals. And if you think that working with penguins sounds like a job for you, check out our exciting volunteer opportunities!

Thanks for following along with me on this unforgettable experience!



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