‘Widowed’ penguins embrace each other in award-winning photo

Tobias Baumgaertner spend three nights observing the colony to get the shot

Eleanor Sly
Wednesday 23 December 2020 12:34
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<p>The fairy penguins live in a colony with &nbsp;around 1,400 others</p>

The fairy penguins live in a colony with  around 1,400 others

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An image of two penguins, in which one appears to have a flipper around the other, has won a photography award.

The photograph, which shows the pair standing “flipper in flipper,” was taken in St Kilda, Australia, and won the Ocean Photography Awards’ community choice prize.

German photographer, Tobias Baumgaertner posted the photograph of the two fairy penguins on Instagram in March, writing that the pair had both been widowed.

Mr Baumgaertner was able to catch the moment having spent three nights observing a colony of penguins. It was apparently particularly challenging to get the right shot.

St Kilda in Melbourne has a colony of over a thousand fairy penguins. This is the smallest type of penguin species with an average height of just 33cm.

The photographer said in his post on Instagram: “These two fairy penguins poised upon a rock overlooking the Melbourne skyline were standing there for hours, flipper in flipper,”

He added that a volunteer approached him to say that one was “an elderly lady who had lost her partner” and the other was a “younger male” who had also been bereaved.

Apparently the pair “meet regularly” and stand together for long periods of time, “watching the dancing lights of the nearby city.”

The competition was organised by Oceanographic Magazine and the winning image was taken by Nadia Aly. It shows Mobula Rays off the Baja California Sur in Mexico

There were six winners overall, from over 3,000 entries to the competition.

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