Posts Tagged ‘Penguin Nests’

A Macaroni Goes African

June 16, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a penguin at the Living Coasts in South Devon, U.K. is turning the natural order of things a little inside out. The peculiar penguin in question is a Macaroni penguin named Juan who has chosen to nest in a way usually reserved for African penguins – a species that Juan wouldn’t be likely to meet in the wild.

Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni Penguin

But, first-time parents 17-year-old Juan and his partner, 7-year-old Pebbles, have rejected the company of the other macaroni penguins on their rocky beach, preferring instead to breed down a hole, alongside scores of African penguins.

African Penguin

African Penguin


Living Coasts is home to around 80 macaroni and African penguins. African penguins nest in burrows dug into sand, while macaroni penguins usually prefer to lay their eggs out in the open, on piles of pebbles. So why has Juan gone for a burrow? Keeper Cara Burton said, “Last year Juan had a squabble over a nest site with another male, so left the macaroni penguin breeding area. He spent a lot of time on the African penguin beach during the summer.  “When winter arrived he moved into a burrow, probably for shelter, and has stayed put ever since. Pebbles showed interest in him last year but nothing happened. This year she tried to tempt him back to macaroni beach a few times but had no luck – so she joined him!”  Macaroni penguins are sub-Antarctic birds; in the wild they nest in large colonies along the rocky coasts of places like Chile and the Falkland Islands. African penguins are endemic to southern Africa. “This is unusual behavior – it’s the first time it has ever happened at Living Coasts. However, I think they stand a good chance of breeding successfully. Macaroni penguins always kick the first egg out of the nest and then lay a second – they have done this. Everything seems to be going smoothly,” said Burton.
“They don’t have the shelter that the macaroni beach has, so it might get a bit warm for them – we will encourage the birds to bring the chick out and provide shelter and their own water spray.”

African Penguin on our Beach Towel

African Penguin on our Beach Towel

Spring and Penguin Romance Is In The Air

March 28, 2012

It happens every year for people and penguins alike. Spring arrives, the weather gets warmer, and hormones start pumping.  It’s penguin breeding season and we’re taking you to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for a sneak peak as to what penguin mating season is like.  Just like their penguin (and people) cousins in the wild these males have to woo their ladies with just the right rock.

Checking out nest building materials

Yeah, that’s right penguin dudes.  If you like your lady.  Really like your lady,  then you need to show her with a special rock before anything happens.  No wonder we like penguins.  When we male humans love someone, we also get all dressed up and present our lady love with a special rock (although our rock is a bit more expensive).  Just like humans, once the rock is accepted, it’s time to get started and build the nest.  During nesting season, male Rockhopper and Magellanic  penguins at the Shedd launch into an all consuming frenzy in search of the perfect rocks and sticks to build their nests.  To begin the annual mating ritual, Shedd’s penguin care experts place dozens of small,

Choosing that special rock

smooth river rocks in the penguin habitat for the animals to create the perfect nest.  The week-long war of the rocks will culminate with numerous nests throughout Shedd’s popular penguin exhibit and it even involves some penguin on penguin rock pilfering, as the fella’s can get ruthless, coveting and stealing other penguins rocks to make their nests the best. Eventually, it all evens out and everyone has a fine nest, although some may be finer than others (just like us).  Once the nests are completed, it’s time to lay the eggs and wait.

Spring is here and love is in the air