2024 Edition

Andrew Pollard

Gentoo Flying High

Gentoo Penguins, Falkland Islands, British Overseas Territory, 2021

Category - Ocean Worlds

Gentoo Flying High

Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) are one of the five species of penguin found in the Falklands Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. A group was photographed here on the North Beach at New Island as they returned from fishing. Getting back to shore is no easy task: the penguins have to brave the rough seas of the ocean that throw them ashore, as well as possible attacks from southern sea-lions that lie in wait for them in the shallow waters – which is why they gather offshore before reaching the land. Gentoo penguins feed mainly at the surface but can also dive to depths of over 200 metres. They generally hunt in small groups, but gatherings of several hundred birds have been observed at sea, up to 75 km off the coast. With a top speed of 35km/h, penguins are the fastest swimming birds in the world.

100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens - 1/6400 sec at f/8 ISO 800