Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua papua - southern subspecies) parent on nest with chicks

Adelie penguin

Gentoo penguins are the largest of the Pygoscelis penguins, though not by much, they average about 5.5kg and 71cm tall for the southern gentoo and about 0.7kg heavier and 10cm taller for the northern gentoo. The northern subspecies nests on and around the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, while the southern subspecies nests as far south as the Antarctic peninsula to 65 degrees south.

Gentoos are one of the most laid back of penguins, while they do have their noisy moments, particularly at nest building time, they are no where near as aggressive and raucous as Adelies and chinstraps for instance. By comparison a gentoo colony is a calm and far more sedate place.

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Photo copyright - Paul Ward /