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Patagonian Tableau

May 26, 2015

Patagonian Tableau

- as seen by -

William G. Conway William G. Conway

Three suspicious Magellanic penguins, a leather-leaved thorny bush, and a browsing Darwin’s rhea compose a peculiarly Patagonian tableau at the famous Punta Tombo reserve on the coast of Argentine Chubut. The penguins use shade from the bush for their nest while the ostrich-like rhea eats its seeds, regardless of the penguin’s consternation.

Penguins are monogamous and will rear their chicks together— without help from a passerby. Rhea males are polygamous and will incubate the eggs of over a dozen females and care for all of the chicks entirely alone.

Photographing bushes is easy and penguins, pretty easy. However, most rheas are wary. I shot this picture from a long way off hiding behind another bush. I used a 400 mm lens on a Nikon 35mm FE. The challenge was to record the relationship between the penguins and the rhea.


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