This lovely mystery bird is the namesake for a famous American bird artist and naturalist
King penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, photographed at Saint Andrews Bay, South Georgia Island.
Image: Alek O. Komarnitsky,
Question: This stunning mystery bird shares a common name with a famous American bird artist and naturalist -- who was that person?
Response: These are adult king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, the second largest penguin species in the world. They share a common name with birder and author, Roger Tory Peterson, whose nickname among his birding pals was "King Penguin". Penguins were among Peterson's favorite bird families to paint and photograph. He took seventeen trips to Antarctica starting in 1957, and was critical in documenting that continent's indigenous birds, as well as the encroaching pollution that threatened their environment.
"Birds are far more than cardinals and orioles to brighten the garden," Peterson once said. "They are indicators of the environment -- a sort of ecological litmus."
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