Visiting Penguins in their Natural Habitat
King Penguins Photographed by Travel Photographer Laurel Brunvoll in the Falkland IslandsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Falling in Love at First Sight
One single glance.
That's all it took for me to fall in love with penguins--their beauty, their grace, their intricate feathers, and their completely difficult habitat.
After seeing a colony of more than 1,000 King Penguins last year in the Falkland Islands--I've become very intrigued with penguins (and other birds in general).
Being up close and personal in the penguin's wild habitat was a completely different experience than seeing an animal in a zoo setting. I landed in Port Stanley during a cruise around Cape Horn (more details on that another time), and got into a four-wheel drive vehicle. After driving for almost 2--3 hours off road (on peat bogs), my dad and I arrived at a beach area. See the video below for actual footage from our wild ride with our local Falkland Islands driver, Matthew. He made our day so fun and enjoyable, especially when our car got stuck!
Arriving at the Colony
After getting unstuck and driving through miles of sheep farms of Johnson Harbour, my tour group reached Volunteer Point, which is approximately 50 miles from Port Stanley. The King Penguin Colony is situated between a long, white sand beach and a salt water lagoon.
Not only did we get to spend time observing the King Penguins, but we were actually were able to see two other different kinds of penguins: Gentoo and Magellanic. I loved seeing all of them, but the King is my favorite.
King Penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, are the second largest penguins in the world, other than the Emperor, and stand about 3 feet tall and weigh approximately 33 lbs.
They huddled together when they weren't heading down to the water and jumping in the waves. And we were able to wtiness males showing off their trumpeting call while raising their heads (to impress the ladies!). To hear what they sound like, visit my Youtube video of a short clip below.
very social, don't build nests, second largest penguin
build nests at higher elevations, live near shore line for easy feeding
Southern Hempisphere (45-65 degrees south latitude)
monogamous species, build nests or will burrow
Neotropical, found 30 degrees south in Chile and to 40 degrees north in Argentina and Falkland Islandso 40 degrees south
More info on King Penguin
More info on Gentoo Penguin
More info on Magellanic Penguin
Look at the King's Intricate Feathers
I hope you've enjoyed being introduced to these magnificent pelagic birds. Though they are hard to get to--living in the far reaches of the Southern Hemisphere-- sincerely wish for every person to have the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.
Please refrain from pinning or using these photos without my written consent and permission. Thank you.