-Adelie penguins make regular trips into the water to catch food
-In December and January, females lay eggs and the parents take it in turns to incubate them
-While one keeps the eggs safe and warm, the other hunts for food
By Alex Ward
These playful penguins make sliding down a steep iceberg and torpedoing into the icy water look like an easy, graceful task.
The Adelie penguins were captured on camera diving headlong into the water in Antarctica after building up speed sliding down the icy slope of an iceberg.
At this time of the year, hundreds of Adelie penguins set up camp in Antarctica and make regular trips back into the water to catch food for their young - making sure to avoid predators in the process.
Wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas captured the moments on camera from a nearby boat.
The California-based photographer said: ‘We spent more than eight hours circling the icebergs over and over again.
‘Penguins do congregate on these icebergs often, but we were lucky to see unusually large numbers in a beautiful light.
‘It was a glorious day and I was over the moon.’
The 36-year-old took more than 3,000 shots on her expedition.
During December and January, female Adelies lay up to two eggs and the parents take it in turns to incubate them. One stays with the eggs, keeping them safe and warm, while the other heads out to sea to hunt for krill, fish and squid.
The penguins are the only breed to raise their young so far south.
When the chicks are about nine-weeks-old and their downy feathers have been replaced with adult, waterproof ones, they travel out to sea and starting hunting for themselves.
Researchers have found that populations of Adelie penguins in the West Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Sea have fallen by 50 per cent in the last 30 years.
Theories for the decline include a huge reduction in numbers of the penguins’ main prey, shrimp-like krill, and rising temperatures which would lead to less sea ice in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica and fewer nesting sites and feeding grounds for penguins.