Rockhopper Penguin Shower
Saunders Island, Falkland Islands
November 2009
Nothing can be more entertaining than watching a rock hopper taking a fresh water shower.
A very small stream trickles over a
ledge on Saunders Island on the
rockhopper trail to the colony. The
Rockhoppers stop here to take fresh
water showers.
Only one rockhopper may use the shower at a time. If a rockhopper thinks the current one has used the shower too long, he
will try to push him out. A quick squabble ensues, and the strongest rockhopper gets the shower.
There are no towels at the shower, so Rockhoppers dry off the natural way with a rapid shake of the head.
Those Rockhoppers who are not as strong must settle on bathing in one of the spots that is only a trickle.
The weather changed a lot while we were there. One afternoon at Saunders a hail storm blew in, not once, but twice.
Among the thousands of Rockhoppers we encountered, there was just one that was very unique. This rockhopper is not an
albino but is "leucistic". It had no black pigmentation. It appeared to us that it was also somewhat ostracized by the rest of the
colony as it sat on the edge of the colony with no mate and no nest.