Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The entertainers

These are Humboldt penguins, native to the coast of Peru and Chile. The species is listed as 'vulnerable' so the breeding of birds in zoos is managed to ensure a healthy gene pool. Every single bird has a unique pattern of spots on its belly, a bit like we have a unique fingerprint.

On land, they are ungainly; waddling from side to side as they shuffle across the rock.

In the water, it is a completely different story. The penguins are amazingly agile and can swim at speed, essential for catching fish; their sole food!.

They are also curious. We watched this guy through the underwater window. He was definitely putting on a display just for us, turning back and forth on his side of the glass, surfacing for air and then returning to dazzle us again. As soon as we moved window, so did he!

What an entertainer!


  1. Kawaii !
    Love the very sweet and cute spots on the tummies !

    cheers, parsnip

  2. I have unique spots too. There's an idea! You could change from a mouse to a Hamster, then next year a penguin....or... a hamster

  3. They're adorable - what is it about penguins that makes us smile and want to watch them for hours?

  4. Yes I agree they are amazingly agil under water - good that there was a glass screen though
    because their diet of fish does make for a pretty horrific smell.

  5. Cute! :) I didn't know that penguins swam with a fast speed.

  6. They are cute but can also be a bit smelly especially when they decide to live under your house. (obviously not in London)

  7. I love it when animals put on a display for the sheer pleasure of it. Once saw some dolphins way out at sea who just repeatedly swam by the ship, putting on a wonderful display.