South Georgia Birdlife

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There are many birds that visit the island of South Georgia, a number that are permanently resident. Go to the right place and you will see wandering albatross, sooty eyed albatross, two different species of giant petrel. The truth is, I don't have photographs of many of the birds, but at least I can give an idea of some of the birds that live and visit here. In total, 81 species have been recorded on the island at one time or another, 31 of those species breed on the island, and at least one species, the introduced Upland Goose, is now extinct.
The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is resident in a number of places around South Georgia and the island has around 400,000 breeding pairs. The king penguin was very much reduced in numbers during the whaling era, but they have increased since. The king is one of a number of species that live on South Georgia and at nearly 3 feet tall (90cm), they are second only to the Emperor in size. Eggs are incubated on the adults feet, under the belly, rather than in a nest. Both parents take turns at keeping the egg warm, while the other parent goes to sea to feed. The typical weight of an adult king penguin, male or female is 33 - 35lbs (15-16Kg).
The young Kings, huddle together during bad weather, and over a period of time, the ones on the outside of the group will move in to gain warmth. They were known affectionately as busby's after the bear skin headgear that the Guardsmen on ceremonial duties wear. Although a little wary of our presence initially, we found we could move around amongst them, and if we sat still, curiosity would get the better of them and they would come closer.