Penguin thief caught on camera

A “criminal” stone-stealing Adelie penguin has been captured on camera by a BBC film crew.

The team, filming for the documentary Frozen Planet, spent four months with the penguin colony on Ross Island, Antarctica.

The footage they captured shows a male penguin stealing stones from its neighbour’s nest.

The birds build their stone nests to elevate and protect their eggs from run-off when the Antarctic ice melts.

Males with the best nests are more likely to attract a mate, so, in a colony of half a million penguins, the best stones are highly prized.

Jeff Wilson, director of the shoot, explained that he and the cameraman, Mark Smith, knew that the birds occasionally stole stones from one another. But he said it was a challenge to capture the moment in the chaos of a busy penguin colony.

“The’re only a foot and a half tall, so you have to get down to penguin level,” he told BBC Nature.

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