Rockhopper Penguins, By William and Matthew Burrard-Lucas, London, England, UK

Rockhopper Penguins

Eudyptes chrysocome

Learn more about Eudyptes chrysocome from the Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life

The Falkland Islands, UK
By William and Matthew
London, England, UK

Penguins have more feathers than most birds, about 100 feathers per inch. Their lives depend on each specialized plume being in top condition to waterproof, insulate, and protect them from the elements; to help them attract mates; and to camouflage them from predators and prey. Most penguins molt completely each year, when their feathers are shed and replaced with new, freshly grown plumage that will aid their survival in the wild.

“Rockhoppers are knee-high, noisy penguins that nest on cliffs and rocky gullies, often near natural springs. Throughout the day we watched as these penguins splashed around under a shower of fresh water, squabbling for the best spot. These rockhoppers were clearly enjoying the process of washing ocean salt off their feathers!” —W&MB-L

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III; 16-35mm ƒ/2.8 L II USM lens at 25mm; 1/125 sec at ƒ/11; ISO 100; Canon 580 EX Speedlite flash with diffuser; off-camera Canon 550 EX Speedlite flash; Manfrotto mini-tripod.