Saunders Island: The Falklands: Baby Gentoos

 Having decided to weather the weather, I went over the hill and into a blustering wind to find a colony of gentoo penguins, some of which had just hatched little chicks. It took more than an hour of lying flat on my stomach, hands freezing, nose running to get these few shots. Patiently, I pointed my zoom lens and took any opportunity to get a picture of a little head or maybe two. The little chicks wanted no more of the cold, windy air than did I, but I persevered; not being sure I would ever be able to return to this area during a nativity season. It was amazing to watch these moms or dads watching over these small creatures. Males and females share incubating and chick-rearing duties in the penguin world. For the first twenty five days of their lives, these little ones will be closely guarded by one of the parents while the other goes out to sea to feed. Waiting patiently always, however, are the skua, as was this one, watching for one opportune moment to snatch an egg or chick. The life of a penguin in not easy. I took the last zodiac back that day. It was 7:00 PM; I was exhausted, and yet I had never felt more energized and alive. Another amazing day had ended.