South Georgia: Fortuna Bay – King Penguins Upclose & Personal

The king penguins look like small people in their tuxedo suits. Orange around the necks and beaks adds to the regal appearance, especially when the penguins are walking upright on land. The head and face of a king penguin are mostly black, with a patch of bright orange-gold feathers on each side of the neck, just above the base of the bill. These patches are called “auricular patches” and serve as a form of visual communication during courtship and other social interactions. The chest and belly of a king penguin are white, which contrasts with the black feathers on their back and wings. These colors are used for camouflage at see – black is not visible from the top by birds, while white blends in with the surface water when see by predators from underneath.