Simonstown, South Africa

This African penguin colony is coming out of the ocean. After a long day of fishing, it was time for them to come back to their nests to rest and feed their chicks. The water on the wet sand creates reflections of the big boulders.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Exposure time: 1/2500s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 200mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4896 by 3264 pixels (WxH).

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This African penguin colony had about 35 individuals altogether. After a long day of fishing, it was time for them to come back to their nests to rest and feed the chicks. Their partners are already waiting for them in the nests to take over parenthood. Once at the nest, these birds will greet their partner, afterward they feed the chicks, of course. The water on the wet sand creates reflections of the big boulders. As you can see on the large round boulder to the right, the marking of darker orange indicates where the water levels can rise.

African penguins do mate for life. They will continuously go back to the same breeding partner and colony season after season. The most desirable mates for females are the ones who have the most fat. Due to this characteristic, they can incubate an egg for more extended periods without eating, and this is extremely important for females when choosing her mate.

Penguins don’t only have a layer of blubber to insulate them from the cold. They also possess feathers that keep in an insulating layer of warmth next to their skin.

The African penguin, Spheniscus demersus, is endangered on the IUCN red list.

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