Posts Tagged ‘king penguin’

What’s Black & Black and Waddles?

February 9, 2016

The Penguin Post has learned that an all black penguin was spotted by wildlife watchers at Fortuna Bay on South Georgia, about 860 miles off the Falklands in the Atlantic.

After being shown the pictures by National Geographic magazine, Dr Allan Baker of the University of Toronto described them as ‘astonishing’.  ‘I’ve never ever seen that before,’ he said. ‘It’s a one in a zillion kind of mutation somewhere. The animal has lost control of its pigmentation patterns. Presumably it’s some kind of mutation.’

The photograph was taken by Andrew Evans, one of those who spotted the penguin among several thousand of its normal-colored counterparts. Observing this black penguin waddle across South Georgia’s black sand beach revealed no different behavior than that of his fellow penguins,’ he wrote on a National Geographic blog

‘In fact, he seemed to mix well. Regarding feeding and mating behavior there is no real way to tell, but I do know that we were all fascinated by his presence and wished him the best for the coming winter season.’ Because black penguins are particularly rare there has been very little research into them.

It is estimated that about one in every 250,000 penguins shows evidence of the condition – but few are as completely black as the penguin pictured here.



Charlotte The Penguin Is Swimming

July 17, 2015

The Penguin Post has learned from Charlotte’s trainer that she has now taken to the water, one flipper at a time.  Here’s what we heard direct from the aquarium.
Eric,  You will be pleased to know that Charlotte is now quite integrated with the group and swims most days, and although not a Mark Spitz yet, she is doing very well.
Simon Blackwell


In case you weren’t following the plight of Charlotte.  The 10-month-old king penguin was so “panicked” by the water at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Birdland in the U.K. that keepers had to give it a month of swimming lessons.

The hand-reared chick was carried across to a rock in the middle of the penguin pool and encouraged to leap in. Keeper Alistair Keen, said the chick was “absolutely terrified” initially but was slowly becoming more confident. The king penguin chick, named Charlotte, is the first of its kind to be born at Birdland since 2009. Hand-reared by head keeper Mr Keen, it was introduced back to the colony a few months ago but after slipping and falling into the penguin pool, the chick developed a phobia of water.

“Initially Charlotte was absolutely terrified at the prospect of getting her feathers wet,” said Mr Keen. “I know penguins can’t fly but she was making a pretty good attempt in her bid to avoid taking the plunge.  “In the wild the chicks only learn to swim by following their parents in to the water so I, as her adopted dad, felt obliged to get in and try and show her how it was done.”


Wearing a wetsuit, snorkel and mask, Mr Keen spent a month in the penguin pool giving the young chick daily one-on-one swimming lessons. “At first it didn’t seem like she was ever going to get the hang of it,” he said. “But now, although I certainly wouldn’t say that she’s taken to it like a duck to water, she is gradually getting more and more comfortable in the pool.”

A Penguin Who’s Afraid Of The Water

July 13, 2015

In a waddling case of life imitating art, just like Noodles the Penguin in the popular kids picture book Noodles & Albie, the Penguin Post has come across news of an actual penguin that is more than happy to keep her feathers permanently dry.   In fact she is so terrified of the water and swimming that she is proving to be a bit of a dilemma for her keepers.

charo-316392The aqua-phobic King penguin is named Charlotte and she was hatched at Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water in England where she has been hand-reared by head keeper Alistair Keen. But, when Charlotte, Britain’s only King penguin chick, was reluctant to take the plunge, Alistair tried to give her a swimming lesson. He actually donned a snorkel and mask to take Charlotte for a swim, But she was having none of it.

“She turned and ran.” Alistair said: “I know penguins can’t fly but she was making a pretty good attempt of it in her bid to avoid taking the plunge.  In the wild the chicks only learn to swim by following their parents into the water so, as her adopted dad, I felt obliged to show her how it was done. She certainly didn’t take to it like a penguin or even a duck to water.”charlotte-590671However, the keepers are persevering and slowly Charlotte (like Noodles) seems to be coming round to the idea of swimming. Birdland is the only place in England that breeds King penguins and Charlotte is the first chick successfully reared there in seven years, and the first female penguin chick to be born in nine years.

Incredibly Penguin Meets Horse!

July 13, 2015

The Penguin Post has learned of the rarest of meetings in the wild.  A herd of horses on the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic Ocean, were treated to quite a delightful surprise recently as a King penguin decided to waddle on by for an unexpected visit. a09ba1d1eec259d9adcc5fbfa1bece1fcfac97d9e6df1d1ddf9db6e1f5e37f69As photos show, the horses couldn’t have been happier with their regal-looking guest.  Sarah Croft, an officer from Falklands Conservation, explained that she had just finished feeding the herd when their ears suddenly perked up as the penguin approached, and fortunately she had her camera on her to capture this encounter. 0bc8cb671ba65adf085d954bf2f080e43211ce32df266b301a0b5f90e8e2e1d8“He caught all of their attention. From afar, the horses were just curious, but then the penguin got closer and some of the horses came in for a closer look,” she said. “They’ve never seen a King penguin before, so I think they were quite fascinated with what it was.” ddb58896b3d08ecb5bf0f1c76bd2677da5b39a474b7e51abce70c2423680db9cThe penguin, who had wandered inland from the nearby coast, seemed at ease as the large, curious animals all gathered around to check him out.  Given the King penguin’s far-southern habitat, such a meeting between these two species isn’t likely to occur anywhere else on the planet, says Croft: “You don’t see horses and penguins overlapping very much. I think it’s a uniquely Falklands encounter, and even here the penguins mostly stay in their colonies near the shore.  But, as we have horses on the Falkands, and it’s right in the northern range of the King penguin I guess anything can happen.” falkland-islands-mapDespite the differences in their size, species, and formality of their attire, the unlikely reunion between penguin and equine was surprisingly pleasant.”I’ve never come across anything like it before,” said Croft. “It was just one of those moments — very novel, quite unique. Just seeing it, I was amazed.”

Kevin Bacon is a Cute Baby Penguin

March 5, 2015

Yes, Kevin Bacon is indeed the name of an adorable new born King Penguin chick from Kentucky. The Penguin Post has learned that the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky, has a new baby king penguin that made his debut appearance Tuesday, and his name is Kevin Bacon (yes, he is named after the actor).  The name of the penguin was revealed to a group of third-graders from St. Francis de Sales School, Lebanon, during their visit to the aquarium.

Newport Aquarium senior biologist Jen Hazeres holds Kevin Bacon, a king penguin chick born Feb. 7 and unveiled at the aquarium Tuesday. He was due to hatch on Friday the 13th, so he was named for the actor who starred in the movie.

Newport Aquarium senior biologist Jen Hazeres holds Kevin Bacon, a king penguin chick born Feb. 7 and unveiled at the aquarium Tuesday. He was due to hatch on Friday the 13th, so he was named for the actor who starred in the movie.

The aquarium’s penguin population has now produced three chicks in a nine-month span. Kevin Bacon, who weighed 7.93 ounces when he was hatched Feb. 7, now weighs a whopping 2.5 pounds.  The chick’s expected hatching date was Friday the 13th, so he was named for the actor who starred in the movie. The chick’s parents are Bebe (father) and Wednesday (mother). He is the second chick the pair has reproduced. The aquarium’s king penguin population has produced three chicks in a nine-month span. There has been an average of only 14 king penguin hatchlings annually over the last 10 years at zoos and aquariums in the United States, said senior biologist Dan Clady.


All Black Penguin!

June 30, 2014

The Penguin Post asks how big is a zillion? It’s “an extremely large, indeterminate number,” according to And how rare is an all-black penguin, rather than the black-and-white tuxedo-like colorings on most of the adorable, big, wabbly birds? It’s a one-in-a-zillion mutation, scientists say.
On a recent trip for National Geographic Traveler magazine to the continent that is the world’s southern tip — Antarctica — Contributing Editor Andrew Evans spotted one and got pictures and video of it. He was doing a story on getting there from Washington, D.C. mostly by bus. Evans saw the penguin on the island of South Georgia, just off Antarctica, during the trip’s last leg – a boat ride from Venezuela.  Group members disembarked on South Georgia when they saw the penguin. The birds have no natural fear of humans, so Evans sat on the ground in front of the penguin when he captured it on camera. Other naturalists on the ship said the bird had been spotted on other trips, which means it’s been around awhile. From what Evans could see, the black penguin assimilated well with the others, and even appeared to have a black-and-white mate. There are some partially-black penguins, about one in every quarter million, scientists say. But this is the only one known to exist that is all black.

Another Ancient Penguin Claim

May 28, 2014

After reporting yesterday about Tess the world’s oldest African penguin, The Penguin Post has been informed that there is yet another elder penguin record holder out there.  A King penguin living in the U.K. named Missy, who although a half dozen years younger than Tess, is now officially the oldest living King (Queen) penguin in the world.   Yes, Missy might be a tough old bird, but that hasn’t stopped her waddling her way into the penguin record books.

Missy seen here far right leading her fellow Kings on parade.

Missy seen here far right leading her fellow Kings on parade.

Missy the penguin now claims the crown as the oldest living King penguin in the world after reaching 36 years old – a staggering 108 in human years.  The ancient King penguin arrived at the Birdland wildlife park in Gloucestershire when she was at least five years old in 1982 – and despite losing the sight in one eye she is still the leader of the colony today. Keepers had no idea that she was the world’s oldest until a zoo in Denmark mistakenly claimed the title with a Gentoo penguin two years younger than Missy.

Staff at Birdland Park and Gardens, in Bourton-on-the-Water are now planning to send her details to the Guinness World Records to prove she has smashed the record. King penguins are only expected to live up to 25 years in captivity, much more than the 15-20 years life expectancy in the wild. Missy spends most of her time with her partner of 18 years, Seth, who is thought to be 34 years old and had a starring role in the 1992 film Batman Returns.  Simon Blackwell, park manager, said: ‘The Danish zoo recently announced they believed that a Gentoo penguin there was the world’s oldest living penguin having reached the age of 34 in May.  Although, Mr. Blackwell conceded that Missy had to settle for world’s oldest King penguin title as he was not aware of Tess the African penguin from the Pueblo Zoo, who at 42 years of age currently has a firm grasp of the world’s oldest penguin title (African or otherwise).

Missy (partner Seth) who has been at Birdland Wildlife Park in the UK since 1982

Missy (partner Seth) who has been at Birdland Wildlife Park in the UK since 1982


Penguin Parade Waddles Once More

March 31, 2013

The Penguin Post has learned that the Edinburgh Zoo’s most famous residents are to resume the daily penguin parade a year after it was halted while their enclosure was renovated.

The story behind the origins of the parade are as follows. In 1951, a keeper left the door to the penguin’s enclosure open by mistake and a gentoo escaped. Followed by other birds, they went for a walkabout. The escape was so popular with visitors the penguin parade has been a part of the zoo’s daily routine ever since. In early 2012, the parade stopped when the enclosure closed for renovation. Fifty-five penguins were sent to other zoos during the work, bringing the marching to a halt.  The new enclosure, called Penguins Rock, opened on March 15 and the gentoos have been practising their marching technique for the first parade on Friday. Colin Oulton from the zoo said: “We have a mixture of both old and new birds taking part in the parade, with as many as seventeen birds participating in the practice runs. The practice runs have all gone pretty smoothly; the old pros got back into it right away and the new penguins were enthusiastic to join in. “Penguins are naturally inquisitive and they enjoy the opportunity the parade gives them each day. We don’t force any penguins to take part, or encourage them with food rewards – each penguin participates in the parade purely because it wants to.”

As well as the Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins, the zoo’s five King penguins have returned in time for Easter.They took a little longer to get home as they started to moult earlier than usual. The process can be stressful, so it was decided to keep them in England until they had finished moulting. Among them is Sir Nils Olav, the mascot of the Norwegian Royal Guard. Mr Oulton said: “It was actually Sir Nils Olav holding everybody up as he was the last to moult. As the kings have only just returned to the zoo this week it is unlikely that any of them will be getting involved in the first official parade, but it won’t be too long before they are settled and ready to participate.” The penguin parade starts at 2.15pm on Friday at their enclosure.


New King Penguin In Town

April 27, 2012

The Penguin Post has learned that a King penguin that hatched on April 9 was shown off at The Aquarium at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas yesterday. The still-unnamed chick is the second to hatch this season. A blood test will be done to determine the sex of the penguin chick and then it will be named. The chick weighed 20 ounces at birth and will grow to about 35 pounds and 36 inches tall. It will join its parents named Petty and Chilly Willy and 31 other King penguins in the exhibit. It is the 14th King penguin to have been successfully bred at the aquarium. The public can also see the penguins on the Penguin Cam .

The Latest Lone Star King.

King Penguin Chicks In The Mid-West

March 31, 2012

The Penguin Post has learned that three King Penguin chicks hatched at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Penguin & Puffin Coast this past January and February. King chicks hatch from their eggs after about 55 days. The parents then continue to keep it warm under their belly flap for 30-40 days until it grows too large to cover. They continue to share feeding duties for about eight months. This handsome bird is one of the largest penguin species. As an adult, it weighs about 33 pounds, second only to the Emperor penguin. The penguin chick keepers routinely weigh the youngsters to monitor their growth. After the quick check, they are returned to their parents.