The Penguin of penguins

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Emperor Penguin

Years ago I read a list of the 10 most difficult species of birds to see on Earth. On this list were many birds with very small populations and hence being very hard to see. There was one bird that wasn’t that rare at all, but it lived in one of the remotest parts of the world: the Emperor Penguin. It is only found on Antarctica, but even there it is not easy. On the most visited part of the continent, the Antarctic Peninsula, it is really rare. No colonies are found in those areas and only occasionally a straggler shows up. Until this year I had never seen one…

In the Ross Sea it is a different story however. Now of course the Ross Sea is rarely visited. Where it takes only 2 days to reach the Antarctic Peninsula, you need at least 5 days at open sea to get to the Ross Sea…But when you get there, you’re really in Antarctica… Cold, ice, long days of daylight (in the right season at least). And Emperor Penguins! We were too late for birds at colonies, but we had several small groups or individuals on the ice. Some of them we found while zodiac cruising and they were really curious, allowing us a good look. Great to finally see this penguin of penguins!

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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