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_mg_4781We bow our heads respectfully and with abundant sorrow — penguins, penguin-lovers, and all of us who knew Frank Todd and who are and will be indescribably saddened by news of his passing.

Frank was a dear, life-long friend and the one who singularly molded and nurtured my love for penguins and Antarctica.

Vividly, I recall every second of that snowy, 30-knot windy day, 34 years ago, when he personally introduced me to my very first penguin — a snarling, unbelievably loud, and cantankerous chinstrap penguin on the gravel beach at Entrance Point, Deception Island, in the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was the first of my many moments learning from the master. Frank not only mentored me, he mentored a huge cohort of us who came to believe deeply, as he did, in these amazing creatures as indicators of ocean, environmental, and planetary health.

Frank once told me of his hope that:

” . . . good sense will prevail, and that these wonderful animals will be preserved for future generations to marvel at. Most people acknowledge that they will never see penguins in the wild. But just knowing that they are there is enough.”

Frank helped spread the joy of penguins via the Penguin Encounter exhibit he planned and developed at Sea World, and by connecting with thousands of Antarctic visitors onboard a host of Antarctic expedition vessels over more than three decades.

Frank was my inspiration and he never stopped fighting for what he believed in — and for his life. I will miss him immensely. And not stop thinking about him.

. . . Ron Naveen

Pelagornis_sandersi_artist_view-1200x900An ancient sea bird with a 21 foot wingspan and teeth made of bone was found in Antarctica

Source: Unbelievably Big Birds Called Antarctica Home 50 Million Years Ago – Forbes

imrs.phpUnderstanding physics can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Now imagine doing it with a bird brain.

Source: Why don’t birds get lost? They may have mastered quantum mechanics. – The Washington Post

12PENGUINEJP-master1050The shy yellow-eyed penguin, threatened by human endeavors, natural predators and hot weather, faces extinction despite conservation efforts.

Source: A New Zealand Penguin, Hard to Spot, Is Harder to Preserve – The New York Times

IMG_0796-600x400An increase in dead or starving common murres has expanded beyond coastal communities and into urban areas in recent weeks. An Anchorage bird rehabilitation center that usually sees one or two murres a year has gotten 20 this month — all were starving.

Source: Starving sea birds pop up in Anchorage, Mat-Su | Alaska Public Media

Going Out Guide – The Washington Post.

Ron Naveen, subject of documentary “The Penguin Counters,” counts a rookery of chinstrap penguins in Antarctica. The film follows Naveen and his team’s research on penguin populations and their strategies for coping with climate change. The film by D.C. filmmakers Harriet and Peter Getzels is a highlight of the 23rd annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. (Photo by One Ocean Expeditions). (Photo by One Ocean Expeditions/Photo by One Ocean Expeditions).


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EmperorPenguins-m-0310Secret hideout helped penguins survive the ice age | MNN – Mother Nature Network.


Penguins act as coal mine canaries for the Southern Ocean – Conservation.


Mysterious penguin disease spreads to Antarctica | Science/AAAS | News.