Baby South African Penguin moulting in the colony of African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) also known as the black footed penguin, on the sand at Boulder Beach.
Canon EOS, zoom lens.
(Featured in The World as we See it, or as we Missed it.)
Before the penguins can take up an adult life and go swimming to feed, the babies spend 2-3 weeks moulting. During this time as their adult plumage takes over from their baby fluff they look terribly bedraggled and sad.
This colony started up on Boulder Beach about 30 years ago, when a couple of pairs of South African Penguins arrived. Since that time they have multiplied. They have set up house in an urban area, and many of them choose to build thier nests in people’s gardens, under outside stairs and the like. Some people welcome them, but as with any wildlife in urban areas some people find them noisy and messy and wish they would go away. The penguins have, however, brought many international tourists to the area and on one of the beaches viewing platforms have been built to accommodate visitora and protect the penguins. Never-the-less many of the penguins still visit the local swimming beaches and trot up the sand betrween sun-bathers to make their way to their urban nest-sites.