Nature Video

By Ellie Duncombe

This is the moment cheeky penguins nabbed rocks from a nesting mother.

The bold male penguins waddled up to the expectant mother’s nest as she sat guarding her eggs – and started pinching the rocks surrounding her.

She appeared to get more and more distressed, and she tried and failed to bat them off as they continued to swipe the rocks to fill out their own nests.

The quarrelsome penguins were caught on camera by photographer Michael Aldridge, at Chilean base Videla Station in Antarctica.

Michael, from Glasgow, stopped off to see the penguins during a round-the-world trip with his wife, Dora.

Michael, 32, said: “We had been on the island for about 30 minutes before we came across this.

“We found the penguins to be surprisingly quarrelsome creatures, constantly fighting over space and the stones used for nesting.

“Although I am certain this is a regular occurrence in penguin rockeries, we did feel very sorry for the mother who seemed unable to defend her nest.

“We were also very worried for her eggs, as they were evidently getting colder and colder as the ordeal unfolded.”

Dora added: “The penguins are a proper tag-team!

“One penguin would sit on the nest and their partner would waddle off to collect a rock from an unsuspecting, defenceless nesting penguin with no partner to protect them.

“It’s all very stressful – those mean penguins!”