What is there to say about this iconic bird? Although they look so comical to us they are feisty, incredibly well adapted, very successful predators. Like puffins they are built to dive and swim, rather than to walk easily. But despite their slightly ungainly waddle, emperor penguins walk for many miles to reach their breeding colonies in winter. Of course they have lost the ability to fly in the air, but they truly fly underwater. I have been lucky enough to see just one emperor penguin as seeing them is much harder than many other species as they breed far inland in winter.
There are thought to be 17-19 species of penguins, some we know so well and others live in very remote sub-Antarctic islands and are not very much studied or visited.
Penguins are the main draw for many people who are lucky and privileged enough to visit Antarctica. Their enormous colonies of thousands of individuals can often be smelt and heard before they are seen.
In the face of climate change on the Antarctic peninsula, where temperatures are changing almost faster than anywhere else on Earth, some species appear to be gaining (the gentoo penguin) while others seem to be in decline (the chinstrap and Adelie penguins).
I love the challenge of trying to photograph penguins differently to others. Attmpting to capture a different behaviour, or a slightly different light and angle. Molting penguins, when they are shedding all their feathers and growing a new set are vulnerable, so have to be photographed at a distance with a zoom lens, but offer another different perspective on these enigmatic birds.
My images below are mostly taken on the Antarctic peninsula and the Falkland Island, though look out for the odd African penguin in the mix.
Below are African, gentoo, Adelie, chinstrap, rockhopper, macaroni and an emperor penguin.