Monday, November 12, 2007

What Does Penguin Courtship Look Like?

The only thing that is cuter than a penguin is a baby penguin. Their downy feathers are so soft these little ones almost look like they are covered in fur. Thanks again to Jack McKee for sharing these great images with the Tennessee Aquarium!
Many people ask what courtship looks like with our gentoo and macaroni penguins.
Our penguins at Penguins' Rock are currently going through a “mock” breeding season. It’s similar to a practice session for the real thing in April and May. You may notice some courtship behavior from some of our birds especially the macaroni penguins. Several of our birds are putting on quite the show…lots of mutual preening and calling (the louder the better) with very dramatic head swinging. In a few weeks the “mock” season will pass and everything will return to normal.

Truly Awesome Penguin Pictures

Many thanks to Jack McKee for sharing his outstanding penguin pictures with us. When you click on the image you will see the picture in a much larger format. Enjoy!

How Do Penguins Build Their Nests?

Many thanks to Jack McKee for sharing his fantastic pictures of gentoo and macaroni penguins. To fully appreciate the stunning images, please click on each picture to the full-sized version. These pictures clearly show the amazing nests these cold-climate birds build.
Both Gentoo and Macaroni penguins build their nests from smooth pebbles. Once they have chosen a mate and gone through the courtship process, then construction of a nest begins. And construction is a good way to describe it. In the wild a medium size Gentoo nest contains an average of 1700 pebbles. Penguins know how to pick out the very best pebbles or stones and are not above stealing “the perfect pebble” from another nest. Once the nest is complete, eggs will be laid and in a few weeks chicks will be hatching.