Every year the Emperor Penguin follows a long, hard, migration path to a place in Antarctica away from their normal home by the edge of the sea. They do this because during the fall Emperor Penguins mate and the female lays an egg. The reason they migrate inland away from water is so that when the egg hatches there will be more ice under the newborn penguin’s feet and much less chance of it falling through into the ocean.
Once the female penguin lays the egg she is exhausted from all the work and needs to leave to go back to the ocean to get something to eat. The father takes the egg and keeps it warm all winter while the mother is feeding in the distant ocean.
In early spring the egg will hatch and the mother will return. The starving father who hasn’t eaten for about four months will return to the sea to feed. The mother will stay with the chick for a while then leave to go back to the ocean again. This time the young penguin will be left alone.
When it grows it’s swimming feathers it too will go to the ocean to feed. Then someday it will follow the same migration route that it’s parents followed and that Emperor Penguins have been following for countless generations.
The Emperor Penguin’s amazing migration cycle shows us that many animals endure a difficult journey to raise their young. This journey requires strength, care, and lots of patience.