Monday, April 16, 2007

Getting To Know You

The best part of being the penguin keeper is getting to know the birds and their personalities. I travelled to SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas to meet the penguins coming to the Tennessee Aquarium. I worked with African penguins for about one and a half years, and they were very enjoyable to be around. But even with some penguin experience, I was surprised when I saw the gentoo and macaroni penguins. "Wow! These are BIG birds," I thought to myself. It turns out they are very curious as well. The gentoos will walk right up to you as if to say hello. In fact several of them would waddle up and give a special penguin greeting. It begins with a dip of the head. When the head comes back up, the beak opens and a friendly call comes out. It kind of sounds like a goose honking. The macaroni penguins were a little less friendly, but they were very fun to be around. Did you know gentoo penguins are the third largest penguin species overall? And the macaroni penguins are the largest of the crested penguins? They are, and I think you'll be amazed at how big and how busy these birds really are.

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