Ah, penguins. You just can't help but smile. These animals are found on Boulders Beach near Cape Town, where they come so close to the erected walkways that you could potentially reach out and grab one (if the mood took you and you were an idiot).
The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is part of a genus with four species. The last time I saw one of them, it was off the Galapagos Islands (the Galapagos penguin), and the other two members of the group (the Humboldt and Magellanic penguins) are natives of Patagonia. They're commonly known as jackass penguins because of their distinct, braying calls.
If you're wondering why they look so huddled, it's because the beach was being sandblasted by ridiculously strong winds, as if often the case near Cape Town. We only really managed to get a few photos as a time before having to retreat and gently wipe sand off the lens.
Thanks for sharing these photos. I haven't heard the term jackass penguin before and now want to hear what they sound like. Lucky you on the world traveling!
I love these photos. I have a particular soft spot for penguins.
I love these penguins, and spent a while watching them (and the thousands of seals) on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.
Because of the incredibly rich Benguela Current off the coast, a lot of countries come there to fish, including Russia. While waiting for the big shoals to appear, they park their rusting hulks off the coast, where the penguins use them for nesting and resting purposes. It's an odd juxtaposition: