Surfs up! Amusing photos show plucky penguins taking on the waves like seasoned surf boarders!
Amusing pictures show real-life SURFIN’ BIRD penguins take on huge waves like seasoned surf boarders.
They may not have the gear, but these Gentoo penguins on Bleaker Island in the Falklands certainly know how catch a barrel.
While some paddled away from the waves in terror, which are comparatively tall for their 20 inch frames, some of the pluckier penguins seem to majestically move along the water.
Photographer Elmar Weiss, 46, from Hamburg, Germany, caught the bold birds in action while on a trip to the archipelago last month.
Elmar said: “The penguins obviously look like they are surfing without doubt, it reminded me of the animated film Surf’s Up.
“It’s amazing to see how skillful they are, they seem to enjoy to playing in the waves.
“On a ‘frozen’ photo, taken in the right moment, you can see all the details and you can detect things – like that penguins are great surfers, they’re surfing South Atlantic style.
“Even though your own eyes, you can see the penguin jumping.
“If a Gentoo jumps out of a wave, he lands on his feet, the wave behind him.
“If you take a photo in the right moment, it seems that the Gentoo penguin is surfing!
“It is really challenging to get a penguin in flight or ‘surfing‘ because you can’t see penguins while they dive.
“When you see a penguin jumping it is almost too late to take a photo, the action lasts a split second.
“I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to get this set of pictures, it is a privilege to see these penguins in their natural habitat.”
The Falkland Islands are believed to hold the largest population of breeding Gentoo penguin in the world, with Falklands Conservation recording over
121,500 breeding pairs.
Elmar added: “The Gentoo Penguins were hunting for fish and krill in the ocean, they are returning back to the colony to feed their chicks.
“Before entering the beach, they jump in the water like dolphins, sometimes they are swimming inside a wave, parallel to the beach, sometimes they are jumping out of a wave.”
To capture the images Elmar positioned his camera 25 metres from the waterline and followed the penguins, waiting for them to jump.
He added: “It is very tricky to get these kinds of shots but I have a trick.
“When the sun was shining and the sea was calm, I could see the shadows of the diving penguins and I could follow them with my camera using a
long lens with a teleconverter.
“From there, I only had to wait until they began to jump.”
To see more of Elmar’s work visit: www.500px.com/elmarweiss