King penguins in the Falkland Islands
'Come on, guys, this way!'

King penguins for Penguin Awareness Day

We're celebrating Penguin Awareness Day in the Falkland Islands, taking a stroll with some king penguins. Kings are the second-largest penguin species, only outranked in stature by their emperor penguin cousins. And while the kings' tuxedo coloring gives them a dash of the debonair, it also provides an important and more practical purpose: camouflage. When the birds dive deep into the ocean looking for food, their black feathers disguise the birds from predators above, while their white undersides do the reverse. Kings are legendary for their diving prowess—in their quest for tasty squid and lanternfish, they can dive over 300 feet below the surface, and some have even been spotted at depths near 1,000 feet! Underwater, these flightless birds are the epitome of grace. On land, however, they are not so graceful, and waddle or 'toboggan' on their bellies to get around.