Photo Gallery: The Rockhopper Penguin (Falkland Islands)

When I started telling people I was heading to Antarctica most replied with “but it’s so cold there” and “don’t get eaten by a polar bear”.  Once I explained (again) that there are no polar bears in the Southern Hemisphere, their attention usually moved on to penguins.

Before I departed, my four year old nephew asked “Aunty Kel, will you catch a penguin for me in Antarctic?”  When I returned his first question was “Aunty Kel, did you catch a penguin for me in Antarctica?”  Everyone loves penguins.  Penguins are an iconic symbol of the world’s southernmost continent.

The inclusion of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia on the way to Antarctica gave me a number of amazing opportunities to visit these little creatures in their own homes.  I met the Gentoo, Chinstrap, Magellanic, Macaroni, Adelie, Rockhopper and King Penguin and all are unique in their own special way.

The Rockhopper Penguin

Saunders Island in the Falkland Islands was our second landing of the voyage and home to a colony of Rockhopper Penguins.  They are among the world’s smallest penguin reaching a height of 50 centimetres, but their ‘rockstar’ spiky yellow hair and matching attitude more than compensates for their size.  Even when they are happily interacting with each other, they look grumpy and instead of adopting the iconic penguin waddle they prefer to hop from rock to rock and bound across the ground.  They are curious little creatures and obeying the ‘five metre rule’ doesn’t mean they will.  Sadly, commercial overfishing, pollution, and other factors have cut the large colonies on the Falkland Islands by an estimated 90% and they are currently categorised as ‘vulnerable’.

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

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