Rockhopper Penguins in Tierra del Fuego

This past Southern Spring/Summer season brought another pleasant surprise to all birders and wildlife-watchers who came to Tierra del Fuego: a group of around a hundred Southern Rockhopper penguins came ashore to undergo their post-breeding moult and gathered for about little less than a month beneath and on top of a cliff on one of the beaches of the huge Useless Bay in Tierra del Fuego, Magallanes province, Chile, while completing this stressful, energy-consuming process by which most of the fat gained during the spring food bonanza is converted into a fresh, new feather coat.

Those of us who were lucky enough to be around at the time enjoyed great views of a penguin species that is quite abundant in offshore subantarctic islands but much harder to see in continental south America, with a few exceptions.

Enjoy a taste of this event through our guest Sue Anderson’s pictures that she kindly shared with us.

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Moulting Rockhopper Penguins, Tierra del Fuego © Sue Emerson

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Moulting Rockhopper Penguin, Tierra del Fuego © Sue Emerson

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Moulting Rockhopper Penguins, Tierra del Fuego © Sue Emerson