King Penguins

Sasg1377King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) bickering at Gold Harbor, South Georgia Island.

I had just finished co-leading a team of adventurers from Geographic Expeditions in Sir Ernest Shackleton's footsteps across South Georgia Island with my friends Dave Hahn and Dierdre Galbraith in 2004. After a successful crossing, we continued traveling around the island by ship, stopping at the notable destinations like Grytviken, Stromness, Salisbury Plain, and Gold Harbor.

At the latter, I took off with my camera for a stroll amongst the King Penguins which were in abundance along the shore. Wanting to get a better view of the azure waters, snow capped peaks, and stunning scenery of South Georgia, I climbed uphill into the grasslands and followed a group of male Kings trying to figure out where they were going and what they were doing.

Eventually, we came to a hilltop with the stunning background you see in the image. Apparently, the King Penguins could not get along very well, and almost immediately started bickering. To me, they seemed like little boys taunting one another. One King, without warning, just reached out and slapped his friend in the beak. Stunned and irritated, the victim launched a counter attack, seen here, with flying flippers and squeals. Soon enough, the whole argument passed, and off they went in peace.

Shot with: Nikon D100, Nikon 24-120 zoom lens.

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