Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mystery bird: king penguins,

Aptenodytes patagonicus

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."

You are invited to review all of the daily mystery birds by going to their dedicated graphic index page.
If you have bird images, video or mp3 files that you'd like to share with a large and (mostly) appreciative audience, feel free to email them to me for consideration.


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