By Josh Saunders
The air-mazing moment penguins appear to be FLYING have been caught on camera.
As they gracefully glide above the seas, you would easily be fooled into believing that penguins can actually fly.
But the wings of these feathery Falkland Island birds are only meant for swimming in the oceans where penguins spend 75 percent of their lives.
The clever camera illusion was caught by Elmar Weiss, 46, while visiting Bleaker and Saunders Islands last month.
The photographer from Hamburg, Germany, carefully captured the penguins mid-flight as they dived between the waves and jumped off cliffs into the chilly Antarctic waters.
Elmar, a dentist, said: “Everybody knows penguins can’t fly.
“But, when you take a photo of a penguin in the right moment like when it’s cliff diving or jumping out of the water, it looks like it’s flying.
“They are airborne and their fins look like wings, most birds other than the penguin can fly.
“I spent many hours observing and photographing the penguins, what a spectacle.
“Some of the rockhopper penguins are entering the ocean by cliff diving, they start by climb down the cliff then at the right moment they take off.
“When rockhopper penguins are coming home from hunting in the ocean they jump like dolphins.
“The circumstances are sometimes tough though, with heavy winds, spray from the braking waves, flying sand, rain and hail.
“I like action wildlife shots, so it felt like I was in a photographer’s heaven.
“But, this was one of the best wildlife experiences in my lifetime.”
Elmar spent countless hours snapping the Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins, he was amazed by their bravery when leaping from high ledges.
The Falkland Islands boast three other types of penguins – Kings, Magellanic and Macaroni – as well as having 22 sites classified as ‘Important Bird Areas’,
which are of global importance to bird populations.
Elmar added: “The rockhopper colonies are high up in the cliffs, often 100 meters above sea level or more.
“Some of the penguins are brave and make a plunge, others are not so reckless and do a foot-jump.
“I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to photograph penguins in their natural habitat.”