Image of fairy penguins watching Melbourne lights wins photo prize

January 5, 2021
Animal
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Image source: https://www.newscientist.com/

AGAINST a background of city lights, two fairy penguins huddle together to watch the skyline and ocean at the end of the St Kilda Pier in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.

Shot by photographer Tobias Baumgaertner, the image captures the pair away from the bustle of their colony. “It was really hard to get a shot, but I got lucky during one beautiful moment,” he wrote in the caption to the image, shared on Instagram.

The two penguins would regularly stand together and watch the lights of Melbourne for hours, he says.

St Kilda Pier has a colony of around 1400 fairy penguins (Eudyptula minor), which volunteers monitor to make sure the population stays healthy and stable.

Outside Australia, the birds are better known as little penguins because they are the smallest penguin species, growing to an average height of 33 centimetres. They are found mostly on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand.

Although Baumgaertner snapped the shot a year ago, he released it in March this year to reflect the isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The image won the Community Choice Award in Oceanographic magazine’s Ocean Photography Awards 2020.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24833132-300-image-of-fairy-penguins-watching-melbourne-lights-wins-photo-prize/#ixzz6ig5HqdjH

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