Penguins - Spy in the Huddle - 3. Growing Up
Documentary showing penguins in the wild. As the chicks become increasingly independent, their parents continue to feed them and protect them from danger.
The chicks are growing up fast and becoming increasingly independent. Emperor and rockhopper chicks are placed in a creche as their parents go fishing. The humboldts are left in their burrows, as the adults enjoy a soft landing of feathers by a beach swarming with cormorants.
Packed in a huddle, the emperor chicks have to be identity checked before they are fed, and their parents are swamped by hungry impostors. Giant petrels are an ever-present danger, while vampire bats target the humboldts. As the young grow bigger and preen out baby fluff, they sport punk hairdos. The emperor chicks go skating on a newly formed ice rink, while the rockhopper chicks practise jumping skills.
Eventually all the chicks leave for the sea, tackling the same hazards as their parents before them, from sea lions to predatory birds, high cliffs to glaciers. All face huge challenges. There are plenty of surprises along the way, but soon the chicks discover their true home - the sea.
From egg to adolescent, spycams have been with the young penguins through their tough early months. They are with them as they leave. It will be years before they follow in their parents' footsteps and return to breed.
First shown: 9pm 25 Feb 2013