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Alone on the Ice - Emperor Penguins

Alone on the Ice - Emperor Penguins
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2001-01-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Penguins, Penguins in the Wild, Fauna of ANTARCTICA and Oceans, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-03 8:14
Viewed: 12079
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a scanned slide taken at the colony at Cape Washington. The breeding season was almost over - these were some of the last remaining penguins.

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species. It is endemic to Antarctica, and is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter. Emperor Penguins mainly eat crustaceans (such as krill) but also occasionally take small fish and squid. In the wild, Emperor Penguins typically live for 20 years, but some records indicate a maximum lifespan of around 40 years. The Emperor Penguin should not be confused with the closely related King Penguin or the Royal Penguin.

Adults average 1.15 m (45.3 in.) in length and weigh between 20 and 45 kg (44 to 99 lb), making this penguin the 5th heaviest existing bird.The largest known individual was about 46 kg (101 lb). The head and wings are black, the abdomen white, the back bluish-gray and the bill is purplish-pink. On the sides of the neck there are two golden circular stripes. As in the King Penguin, a male Emperor Penguin has an abdominal fold, the "brood pouch", between its legs and lower abdomen.

The Emperor Penguin has a thick coat of feathers that insulate the entire body, excluding only the legs and the undersides of the wings. The feathers provide a waterproof layer around its body.

Emperor Penguins are social animals, both foraging and nesting in groups. In severe weather the penguins huddle together for protection. They may be active day or night. Mature adults travel throughout most of the year between the nesting area and foraging areas in the ocean. From January to March, Emperor Penguins disperse into the oceans, traveling and foraging in groups. It is estimated that there are at least 250,000 Emperor Penguins, distributed into as many as 40 independent Antarctic colonies.

They normally dive to between 150 and 250 m (490 to 820 ft), although they can venture deeper, the deepest diving on record being 565 m (1870 ft). The longest they can hold their breath when underwater is 15 to 20 minutes. Their swimming speed is 6 to 9 km/h (4 to 6 mph), but they can achieve up to 19 km/h (12 mph) in short bursts. One of their feeding strategies is to dive to about 50 m (164 ft), where they can easily spot the sub-ice fish, Pagothenia borchgrevinki, swimming against the under surface of the sea-ice, which they then catch. They then dive again and repeat the sequence about half a dozen times before surfacing to breathe. They may also blow bubbles into the cracks in the ice to drive out the hiding fish.

earthtraveler, Argus, eqshannon, gracious, mariki, cataclysta, valy67, writerscrawlz, hester, nglen, Patleboss, NinaM, marhowie, Adanac, Debz, anel, angybone, SelenE, uleko, Elanor has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To saguzar: ThanksJamesp 2 12-06 12:16
To angybone: ThanksJamesp 1 12-04 23:50
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-12-03 8:30]

Hello James,
this reminds me of that recent penguin film... Happy Feet I think :)
Good low-down POV and a decent composition.
Nice colours as well.
Well done,

Hi James,
Nice group shot of these Penquins. What a treat to see them in the wild. Only nit would be the absence of the eye on the large one in the middle. Is that the male? Great note of an incredibly well adapted creature. Fine color and composition, good detail mostly. TFS

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-12-03 8:33]

Hello James,
I great capture from the extreme south. The sharpness and different attitudes of these Emperor Penguins are the best feature and the exposure against the blinding snow is well managed.
Nice to see and thanks,

I'll say one thing James...you are a well traveled man. Your free air miles must be 10x the number of actual miles I have flown...to get things like this wonderful picture..geese...This is one I will not ever get and I think I can say that with some confidence:-)

Hello James,
very nice composition and beautiful colors.good pov. I love penguins!

Hello James,
Great captured of these lovely Penguin in low pov!
total sharpness, vivid colour and details on this shot!
lovely composition with useful notes

p/s will email for contact when in Auckland before you leave UK!

Hi James
Beautiful Antarctic scene. Young pinguins with one adult. Good exposure, nice frame but maybe you could crop it a little bit from the bottom.
Best wishes

Hello James !
This is a splendid picture ! Excellent details, nice natural colors, wonderful composition and POV. I also like the fact that each penguin is looking in a different direction. The young ones look cute and fluffy - nice to see the difference between the adult and the young ones, it is very interesting.
Vaery well done !

Excellent notes! If I'm not mistaken, are some of the ones in the photo youngsters? The pov is perfect because I can view so many. This is a wonderful sub-group you have here. I only wish I could get a few like this in the wild. :)

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-12-03 10:29]

Hi James

That is a gorgeous shot. I am so envious of you for seeing such wonderful sights. I love the composition, the POV, the framing and the exposure. Most of all I love the subject..they are so cute.



p.s it reminds me of the film Happy Feet as well

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-12-03 11:08]

Hi James. I have read your notes and fine them very interesting so thanks for them. Its a birds i love to see have yet to see one other than a Zoo. You have captured a fine shot. with good detail and colour. you have done well with the bright light you must of had. TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-12-03 12:03]

Hello James,
Beautiful photo of this Penguins. Excellent light and detailed colours. Very good low POV.
Nice to see the penguins in all different directions. Pretty composition.

I love your choice of composition James, with the one adult and those fuzzy little ones... one looking left, one looking right, one forward and one backward... cool. I see a bit of a sharpening halo along the high contrast edges. Sometimes you can just run a tiny blur tool along that edge to eliminate the halo without affecting the sharpness of the rest of the photo.

Evelynn ; )

Wouaw James, fantastic shot !!!
Lovely family portrait very sharp and perfectly focused,

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2007-12-03 15:30]

Hi James, this is a great shot. We feel the cripy air and snow and the cute little fellows are so well adapted to this harsh environment. Great composition and colour, thank you!


Excellent notes on the Emperor James, great looking image from a scanned slide..
It's one of nature's wonders how they can stay warm, even in those extreme low temps.
The young one's are very cute lookin :)

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-12-03 17:42]

Hello James,
Lovely capture of this beautiful baby sitter and its' five charges. Great detail, colors and composition.

hello james,
very nice shot, the gropu of penguins have been captured beautifully, liked the composition, precise dof,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-12-03 19:50]

Hello James

I agree with Joey ,this looks like Happy Feet.
The details and focus are very good.
Very good lighting and colours.
You have really been blessed to be able to see the World.


Hello James,

Very nice picture of this group of penguins. Nice composition. Each little penguin looks at another side: one looks forwards, one looks at its right, the other at its left and the last one shows its back.
Good focus and colours,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-12-04 1:30]

Hello James, that's a wonderful image, the light is great, the composition awesome and a very good exposure. Good scan too. Thanks,


  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-12-04 3:16]

Hi James, these are beautiful, hard working Penguins. I have the famous DVD which shows their long and ardous journey to fish. Light always looks good in this part of the world, I hope to go one day. A very nice compositon of this group, the young look very healthy. Wonderful detail and sharpness and great colours.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-12-04 3:53]

hello James,
The Penguins are among the loveliest creatures and it is so much fun to watch them. On your picture I like the authoritarian attitude of the adult one. Interesting to read about the diving performations; incredible!
Thanks a lot

Hola James,
He visto tu mapa de países visitados y ya casi está todo naranja! Conoces más países que yo ciudades de mi país! :(
Esta foto de pingüinos es una delicia, me gustan esos tonos suaves del entorno nevado y por supuesto esas maravillosas aves, como resalta el adulto entre los jóvenes.

Fabulous yet again!
These scenes are so exciting to me...as a Texan I am amazed by the mere photo of snow nonetheless penguins! WOW!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-12-04 23:51]

Hi James,
Very nice capture of this beautiful penguins. Well done and TFS
Best wishes,

Hello James,
Fine details in those funny fellows!
A well composed presentation, I notice how their attention takes different directions...
Good colours & details!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-12-04 23:58]

Hi James,
Just acknowledging this wonderful shot from you. Sorry, absolutely tied up with an urgent assignment hence forced to do a short-work.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-12-06 8:06]

Hello James,
I find it hard to keep up with all your fine images! This is a splendid capture of this family group, the young ones looking very cuddly!! These Penguins are so beautiful and you're lucky to have seen them in their natural habitat. Beautiful composition in fine light and colours and very sharp.
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

Hi Jmaes,
Nice group shot of these Emperor Penguins.
Great shot with nice details and great colors.
Cheers from Hong Kong.


Great shot. I love those Emperor Penguins. Still on my wish list to ever capture them.
Well done.

Hi James,
excellent composition,the penguins look majestic,well done.

  • Great 
  • Elanor (50)
  • [2008-02-05 8:57]

It looks just like a scene from Happy Feet. Cute and oh so well photographed! I love the colours of the adult penguin in the center, surrounded by the younger ones. Very beautiful!

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