King penguins catch a wave
One of the largest king penguin breeding colonies in the world (around a quarter of a million birds) is found at St Andrew's Bay on the island of South Georgia.
Chicks take over 12 months to rear so the year-round presence of hundreds of thousand of penguins means the ground become filthy. Birds sleep, feed chicks and waddle through stagnant pools of mud, excrement and dead penguin carcasses.
It's no surprise that king penguins, like most penguin species, like to go for a wash in the surf after spending time ashore.
Programme maker Chadden Hunter watches penguins as they catch a wave or two.
King penguins are the second largest penguin in the world after the emperor penguin. Unlike emperors, kings rarely venture as far south as the sea ice but instead prefer to breed on sub-Antarctic islands and fish in warmer waters north of the polar front.
In the past king penguins were harvested in massive numbers for their oil and some colonies were completely wiped out. Since the end of the major whaling industry however, their numbers have recovered and most populations appear to be growing at an annual rate of 5-15%.
Another Frozen Planet crew have been filming on Bird Island off the coast of South Georgia. Researcher Matt Swarbrick ponders the mystery of macaroni penguins and their eggs.
Published 3 August 2009