As I return back to processing images from Antarctica, I wanted to share several images that demonstrate the peaceful nature of these Emperor penguins. We saw so many of the adult penguins spending time with each other in pairs. I was told that typically all the males or all the females were at sea depending on the time of year, so I assume that most of these interactions were from the same gender. We were not able to distinguish if the majority of the adults were males or females at the colony during the 3 days we visited, but we enjoyed the bonds nonetheless.
Like humans who spend a lot of time together, the adult Emperors seemed to mirror each other’s behavior for a variety of activities. If one penguin was preening, the buddy nearby also got involved in preening.
Occasionally, one of the penguins stood guard and watched, but it was typically for a short period of time before both were performing similar behaviors again.
They often played “follow-the-leader” with one of the adults leading the way and the second following along dutifully.
Sometimes the lagging penguin found it easier and faster to slide on its belly to catch up with the leader.
In the case below, the penguin on the left was beginning to go into a belly slide down the iceberg with its companion watching carefully before deciding to join.
We often saw both of the penguins on their bellies as they crossed over the sea ice. It was fascinating to see their flippers and feet become in sync as they propelled themselves forward.
Even when they took a rest, they matched their behavior to the one next to them, and I was able to capture this head-on.
There was even symmetry when they were looking in different directions as their bodies mirrored each other.
Their behavior and stance also balanced well with the surrounding landscape as I caught these two in front of a beautiful light-blue iceberg.
No matter the scenario, the peace was evident.
I will continue with the Antarctic journey and share more posts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
You can view these images individually and more not posted here in my portfolio located here.