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Chinstrap Penguins

Nature, third prize stories


Every summer, millions of chinstrap penguins arrive on the remote islands to breed. The islands are uninhabited by humans, but are home to the largest penguin colony in the world. The penguins, which get their name from a distinctive black band under their heads, lay around two eggs that are incubated by both male and female. Chicks hatch after 35 days, and gain their adult plumage after around two months.

Commissioned by: National Geographic


Photo Credit: Maria Stenzel

Maria Stenzel is a freelance multimedia journalist who has covered the environment, science and indigenous cultures for National Geographic Magazine for twenty years. Her photographs have received awards from World Press Photo, The National Magazine Award, The National Press Photographers Association, and Communication Arts.

Maria was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2012, and have been teaching in the Journalism program at Emerson College since 2013. She is currently a Fellow at the Film Studies Center at Harvard University. At Brandeis University, she is a member of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.


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