Penguins Showering in the Falkland Islands

Posted by Will on

One of our favorite memories from our trip to the Falkland Islands was photographing rockhopper penguins showering under a freshwater spring. We have recently gone back through our photos and wanted to share with you a few more pictures of this incredibly cute behavior!

During the southern hemisphere summer, rockhopper penguins come ashore all over the Falkland Islands to breed. The penguins gather in large raucous colonies and form a well-worn track down to the sea.

The Rockhopper Colony on Saunders Island

We primarily visited Saunders Island to photograph the majestic Black-Browed Albatross that nest along its cliffs. However, this colony of rockhopper penguins proved just as photogenic! Along the main penguin highway down to the sea was a freshwater spring that flowed over an overhang and created a small waterfall. This was an irresistible attraction for the penguins and throughout the day it was busy with squawking, squabbling, splashing birds!

Rockhopper Showering
Penguin Splashing

The fresh water allows them to wash the salt from their feathers and remove the grime of the colony. The penguins were wonderful to watch, as they appeared to be enjoying themselves a great deal!

Penguins squabbling for the best spot!
Penguins showering under the waterfall.

The penguins were splashing so much that keeping our gear dry was a never-ending battleā€¦ in the end we had to cover the camera with a hat and lift it briefly to take each shot. We also used several off-camera remote flashes to illuminate the penguins and the underside of the overhang.

The Set-up

You can find out more about the penguins of the Falkland Islands in this blog post. You can also read more about our trip and the other creatures we photographed in our Falklands Islands post.

We have recently returned from a fantastic trip to Australia and will be posting our images here soon. If you would like to be notified when this happens, please subscribe to our free email newsletter / rss feed.

10 Comments

  1. connie shrader said: February 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    love the shots, and they let you get close to them. I am always a fan of penguins.

  2. Helen Jones said: February 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Gorgeous photos of my favourite bird. Saw them in the Daily Mail and followed link. Well done and I’ll keep coming back to see what you’ve been photographing.

  3. ratty8 said: February 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I liked this photos very much! Small penguins are funny with their pink feet! :)

  4. CrazyTourists said: February 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Wow!! How amazing they are!! It makes me want to go to the Falklands!! :)

  5. Paul said: February 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Great shots guys!

  6. Jackie said: February 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    They are sooooo cute! :O

  7. Scott W said: April 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Looks like a great trip. All the shots are amazing! The shots with the overhanging rock, waterfall and ocean in the background are my favorites.

  8. Nancy said: March 8, 2012 at 3:23 am

    You have done an amazing job of photography…… wish I had had the opportunity to photograph wild life like you do. Good job……….enjoyed

  9. j. ochoa said: September 20, 2012 at 1:10 am

    beautiful, peaceful, civilized, clean… unlike some of those tall paparazzi that run around shooting everything with cameras and flashes and stuff…LOL
    Great shots.loved it.

  10. SANDRA said: May 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    you are doing amazing job with your work keep doing it

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