I wasn’t not aware that flipper/wing bands impeded motion in these temperate penguins, but perhaps the bands used in field research are different than the “plastic” ones that I’m more familiar with. I really would like to know. I suspect that perhaps wild marine birds require more durable bands and much greater mobility. I admit to total ignorance on this as I have never worked with wild spheniscid penguins in the wild. My bird banding skills are limited to psittacines and migratory and resident passerines. I have to throw in these scientific terms for tagging purposes. If you blogged you would know this.
The new technology reported in article sounds expensive, but it’s cool and quite reliable, I think. I remember having to ID a colony of 40 African penguins to monitor feeding. I relied on color bands and am not sure that I performed at a rate as strong as this technology. I will leave it up to those of you who are Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, and temperate penguin experts to decide.