Our Beautiful World

King Penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus    

King Penguin   Kongepingvin  Koningspinguïn    Manchot Royal Königspinguin
  Kongepingvin  Pinguino Rey

Courtesy: http://www.coolantarctica.com

King penguins swimming.
Gold Harbour, South Georgia.

King penguin chicks sharing their beach with
Antarctic fur seals. Gold Harbor.

King penguin, Grytviken,
South Georgia.
King penguins breed in colonies of up to 40,000 pairs on South Georgia (200,000 pairs in 32 colonies) and Falkland Islands (400 pairs), but are extinct on Tierra del Fuego. Another subspecies forms much larger colonies in other parts of the Southern Ocean. They have extended breeding season, with birds present at colonies at any time of the year. Chicks take 10-13 months to fledge, so each pair only breeds twice every three years. Their population is currently slowly rising.
Part of king penguin colony, Gold Harbour

King penguin chicks molting into juvenile plumage. Grytviken, South Georgia.
Juveniles differ from adults (bird to the left) by paler yellow ear patches. Grytviken

King penguins, Grytviken,
South Georgia.
King penguin is the largest breeding species of the Scotia Sea. Its even larger relative, emperor penguin (A. forsteri), breeds further south and visits the area during non-breeding season, but is very rarely seen here. King penguins usually breed on flat snow-free beaches and adjacent level areas. They are less migratory than some other species, but feed on fish and squid 40-1,000 km from the colony. They can dive to almost 300 m and are fast swimmers, but not as good at porpoising as some smaller penguins.

Small king penguin colony,
Gold Harbour, South Georgia

King penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, and Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, Grytviken. All pictures on this page, except if otherwise stated, Copyright © Vladimir Dinets


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