Stacks Image 2185
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Identification

Medium-sized, at about 77 cm long and 4–5 kg, and readily recognisable by the white face and fine black line across the cheeks. The demarcation between the black and white lies above the eye, isolating the dark eye in the white plumage. The bill is black. Unlike most other penguins, juvenile chinstraps closely resemble their parents. Until their first moult, they can be recognised by dark spotting around the eyes and a slightly shorter bill.

Distribution

Intermediate between the Adelie penguin in the south and the Gentoo penguin in the north, breeding colonies are almost exclusively on the Scotia Arc. That is, around the Antarctic Peninsula on South Georgia, South Orkney, South Shetland, and South Sandwich Islands (vast numbers on the latter). Small numbers also breed on Bouvetøya, Peter First, Heard and Balleny Islands

Habitat

Usually breeds on hillside slopes and rocky outcrops in colonies that sometimes can be enormous. At the South Shetlands, Chinstrap penguins often breed amongst other Pygoscelis penguins, though usually on steeper slopes. Their marine distribution seems to be linked to the limits of the continental shelf and the confluence of the Antarctic circumpolar and Weddell Sea currents.