Derek Pettersson, a photojournalist from Sweden, captured these plucky penguins picking a fight to impress the female in a hilarious slapping battle at Volunteer Point in the Falklands Islands earlier this month.
The king penguin males slap and prod one another with their beaks while attempting to catch the female’s attention.
In this amusing shot, the grandparent appears to be filming a slow-motion conflict between the penguins, which displays reaction speeds comparable to those seen in the 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix.
“This is what happens when males are looking for a partner,” Derek, the owner of a tourist destination lodge, said.
“Several others join in during courtship to try and attract the interested partner. “They use their beaks to slap and poke each other.
This happens every year during courtship seasons, from mid-November through February.
“The penguin was slapped; this is a common courtship behavior that can be witnessed at any time of year.” “I was just grateful to get a few snaps.
“I was pleased to be able to continue to display the lives and behaviors of these lovely birds.
“Most people are a little startled by the pictures at first until I explain why they’re happening,” he added. “The optimum period to see this is from late November until late February.”
These photos were taken at Volunteer Point, northeast of the archipelago, where it is estimated that over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks are reared each year.
“They are not naturally hu.nt.ed on land in this region,” said Derek. “Visitors should stay at a safe distance, but if they sit down, the chicks will come right up to investigate.
“As long as the wildlife is respected, Volunteer Point is one of the finest and easiest areas to photograph king penguins.”