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Antarctica - Gentoo Penguin  - introductory text

Shooting in Antarctica, i.e. on "the 7th Continent", has resulted in several galleries of new species. They would be difficult to find elsewhere. In these pictures the spectator can see three species of penguins in their nature habitat. The pictures portray a cold, bleak and stark climate. Two of the three penguins galleries have audio recordings of the bird colonies. In this region I managed to photograph not only three species of penguins but also terns, gulls, cormorants, sheathbills and several sea mammals. To cross the Drake Passage it took over two days in order to get to Antarctica. The cruise was an opportunity  to photograph albatrosses, fulmars and several species of petrels. The difficulties I encountered when taking these pictures will be pointed out in the linked descriptions of  these species. Antarctica made a stunning impression for example outstanding landscapes so different from the ones I have seen before. The photos published here were taken in the middle of the Arctic summer (January), in the region closest to the southern coasts of Argentina (the warmest part of Antarctica). Yet the thick layers of snow and ice covered most of its surface. The environment was clean and sterile but sometimes upset by the "smell" of  the penguin colony, which filled the air over a distance of a kilometer before e reached the colony. A landscape like that of Antarctic cannot be seen anywhere else. Because Antarctica is an ownerless land, and not a country I posted the pictures in the TRAVEL - ANTARCTICA gallery-site. My page is constructed so that I had to use such a solution. I cannot imagine omitting examples of views of this beautiful, but not human-friendly area. The living conditions there are too harsh for a man but the Antarctic coasts and waters are teeming with life. Orcas, dolphins, humpback whales, sea leopards and large colonies of penguins, all they need to live is provided by these waters. In addition to these views there are albatrosses soaring for hundreds of kilometers over open waters. Amazing  beauty and diversity of fauna, in contrast to the absence of flora characterizes this region of the world. I hope I managed to show in my pictures the beauty and peculiarity of this continent untouched by civilization - welcome...

Photos of Gentoo Penguins were taken while visiting a few penguins rookeries. There were thousands of birds and they often approached so close that they seemed to try the camera tripod if it was edible. There in Antarctic probably only kelp gulls and skuas  are the natural enemies to them, and no longer than in the first period of their lives. Later penguins are just too big for these birds to be threatened by them. In the early years of their lives they are often abducted by skuas, but about hunting methods you can read in the description of the great skua. I did capture such a scene with the skua aggressors  when alone penguin against two skuas had no chance to defend offspring. A single skua often escaped in the face of aggressive attitude of penguins defending the colony. The Gentoo Penguin occurs only on the coasts and waters that surround Antarctica. They feed mainly on fish for which they are ready to swim several tens of kilometers away from the coast. The penguin weight does not exceed 9 kg, and their body length is up to 80 centimeters.

Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis papua