Penguins - Spy in the Huddle

First Steps

Series 1 - Episode 2 First Steps



A male emperor penguin, who has brooded on his chick in the Antarctic until it hatched (the females are away catching food) can’t bring himself to take his leave to do what a male penguin has to do. He walks away, thinks better of it, then waddles back to his mate and baby before, finally, leaving. It’s captured by some remarkable photography in another charming film.

The penguins are irresistible, particularly the doughty little rockhoppers of the Falkland Islands. Their colony comes under attack from turkey vultures, who swoop down to steal chicks. The female rockhoppers, barrelling back from their food-finding mission, lurch en masse to scare away the predators.


The second part of the documentary sees the chicks hatching in Antarctica, the Falklands and Peru, leading to delightful scenes as the new parents help their young take their first few unsteady steps. All three colonies share one thing in common, however - there are plenty of predators eager to get hold of the new arrivals, giving the parents a tough job to protect their babies.

Cast & Crew

Narrator David Tennant
Producer Philip Dalton
Series Director John Downer