Canon 1DMKIII and 400mm f/2.8 lens shot handheld at 1/400 @f/2.8 and ISO 400. Not captured; the smell. One of the guides had just asked me "How do you capture this scene so people can comprehend it?" My answer was edge-to-edge penguins. This frame captured only a small fraction of them. I haven't counted the number in this image but there was an estimated 200,000 on the beach. This particular bunch had babies (called Oakum Boys) lined up in "bands" through the crowd.
St. Andrews Bay on South Georgia Island, Antarctica is one of the world's largest king penguin rookeries. Upwards of 200,000 birds return here annually. It is impossible with words to exaggerate the scale in sight, sound or smell of 200,000 nesting penguins. There are literally MILES of them. South Georgia is considered by some scientists to be the highest concentration of wildlife on earth. While 200,000 is a large number of anything it is a small fraction of the animals living on the island at one time. There are about 7,000,000 penguins here alone. Still a big number? Not compared to the 50 million seabirds and another 5,000,000 seals.