Over the Ice

During the winter months on Antarctica, Adelie penguins migrate north where they live on large platforms of ice and have better access to food. During the warmer summer months, they head south to coastal beaches, looking for ice‑free ground where they can build their nests.

How do they manage these arduous trips? They follow the sun. That doesn’t sound too hard. But remember, during the winter, the sun doesn’t rise south of the Antarctic Circle. To follow the sun, the penguins must chase the ice.

Fast Fact:

The longest treks for Adelie penguins have been recorded at 17,600 kilometers (10,900 miles).

Sea ice “grows” during the winter months and extends hundreds of kilometers further north from the shoreline. As long as the penguins live at the edge of this “fast” ice, there will be sunlight.

Adelie penguins chase the sun on their migration.