By JESSICA SATHERLEY
Each year, the king penguin colony at Salisbury Plains, South Georgia, produces an astonishing 50,000 chicks - a number which is on the rise
Most parents will know the problem. Your back is turned for two seconds and your little one has disappeared into the crowd.
Well just be thankful it’s not a crowd like this.
This sea of black, white and brown is created by 200,000 king penguins searching for their hungry chicks on the South Atlantic island of South Georgia.
This sea of black, white and brown is created by 200,000 king penguins searching for their hungry chicks on the South Atlantic island
And, incredibly given the apparent chaos, the young birds hardly ever get lost – thanks to each having a unique begging call.
The scene was captured by German photographer Michael Poliza after the penguins had returned en masse to their home colony for a new breeding season.
It looks like they're playing Wheres Wally: The chaotic scenes make it look impossible for the adult penguins to find their young, but because of their unique begging call amazingly they never get lost
King penguins are 3ft tall and weigh up to 33lbs. They lay just one egg each year and the fluffy brown chicks take 11 months to become self-sufficient, so it’s fortunate for them that their parents can p-p-p-pick them out.
Each year, the king penguin colony at Salisbury Plains, South Georgia, produces an astonishing 50,000 chicks - a number which is on the rise.
And Mr Poliza, from Hamburg, Germany, was left speechless when he was met by the noise, smell and breathtaking sight of the enormous colony.
Photographer Michael Poliza, who has a new exhibition opening in Germany at the end of October, had to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula on a cruise ship to capture the striking shots
"During the October courtship period, males parade the females with loud calls, an erect posture and a courtship walk - being the tallest certainly impresses the females.
"It seems like a chaotic mixture of adults and their chicks, and king penguins look quite comical, but they know exactly what they are doing.
"On land, penguins are very curious as there have been no land predators in Antarctica so I was able to get up close to them.
"I would love to go back again as it was a truly fantastic experience."
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
By JESSICA SATHERLEY