2024 Edition

Thomas Vijayan

Parenting Goals

Family of emperor penguins, Antarctica, 2022

Category - Polar Wonders

Parenting Goals

Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) display remarkable family dynamics. These majestic birds, which breed during the harsh winter season, engage in intricate cooperation to ensure the survival of their only chick. The male incubates the egg for 62 to 67 days and the female, who leaves to hunt and feed at sea, returns before it hatches. Both parents actively participate in caring for the offspring and feeding it one after the other. Here, two adults are protecting their fluffy youngster with the synchronized warmth of their bodies and by blocking the strong winds. This image is dear to me as it shows the close bonding they share. An endemic bird of Antarctica, the emperor penguin is classified as "near threatened" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.


100-500 mm f/4.5-7.1 Lens - 1/1600 sec at f/7.1 ISO 125