Chinstrap Penguin

The Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) is a species of penguin which can be found in the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica, the South Orkneys, South Shetland, South Georgia, Bouvet Island, Balleny and Peter I Island. The name derives from the thin black band under their heads. This band makes it appear as if they are wearing black helmets, making them one of the most easily identified types of penguin.

Other names given this penguin are “Ringed Penguins”, “Bearded Penguins”, and “Stonecracker Penguins” due to their harsh call. They can grow up to 75 cm and there are approximately 7,500,000 breeding pairs. They eat krill and sometimes fish. They build circular nests from stones, and lay around two eggs. These eggs are incubated by both the male and female birds in shifts of five to ten days each. The chicks hatch after about 35 days, and have fluffy grey backs and white fronts. The chicks stay in the nest for 20″“30 days before they go to join a creche. At around 50″“60 days old, they moult, gaining their adult plumage and go to sea.

(Photo by Uwe Kils) GFDL