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Falkland Islands - South America and Antarctic Port of Call


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Rockhopper Penguins of the Falkland Islands
Falklands - Rockhopper penguins

The Rockhopper penguins on New Island of the Falklands

Falklands (c) Linda Garrison
The Falkland Islands have some of the largest rockhopper penguin colonies in the world. The rockhoppers are the smallest polar penguins, at about 21 inches tall and weighing in at about 5 pounds. They breed on rocky slopes and often have to navigate steep cliffs and heavy surf going to and from their nests. Rockhoppers lay two eggs, and the parents take turns sitting on the eggs for the 34 days of incubation. One of the eggs is usually much smaller than the other, and it often does not hatch. I loved the yellow-tufted feathers on their heads, which were the most distinguishing feature. The parents go to sea to obtain food for their young, feeding on krill (a small, shrimp-like creature) and small fish. When they return to the colony, the parents recognize their young (and vice versa) by their appearance and call. (And who said all penguins look alike?)

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