2020 Bonanza Bird #31: King Penguin

Birdorable King Penguin

Today’s new Birdorable is our third “king” before Christmas. Here is our cute cartoon King Penguin!

The King Penguin is a very large species of penguin, smaller only than the Emperor Penguin. Adult birds can be recognized by their black and white body plumage and by the golden orange patch at the back of the head.

King Penguins have an unusual breeding cycle which takes around 15 months to complete. They breed in large colonies. After a chick hatches, the parents take turns keeping the baby penguin safe and warm while the other adult forages for food for 3 to 7 days. The foraging bird returns, feeds the chick, and relieves the other parent to go off and find food for 3 to 7 days. This period, known as the “guard phase” lasts up to 40 days. Then, during the austral (southern hemisphere) winter, parents leave their chicks in a large communal creche. The chicks fast (eat nothing) for over 4 months, huddling together to keep warm as they wait for the parents to return. Fledging (which for penguins means achieving independence – not flight) occurs a few months after the adults return.

King Penguins
King Penguins at Salisbury Plain by Liam Quinn (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow is Christmas day! We will conclude our 2020 Birdorable Bonanza with an appropriately named seabird. Are you ready? We sure are!

Cute King Penguin Gifts


Rosalba M S on December 24, 2020 at 4:45 PM wrote:
I think it’s a Cape Petrel or some sort of Petrel because there is so many types of Petrels to guess!
Birder on December 24, 2020 at 4:48 PM wrote:
Cape Petrel?
Brandon Nayar on December 24, 2020 at 5:58 PM wrote:
I think it’s a Christmas Shearwater
Rosalba M S on December 24, 2020 at 11:11 PM wrote:
I've changed my mind!Now that I think about it might be a Christmas Shearwater.
Birdorable (Arthur) on December 25, 2020 at 1:48 PM wrote:
Well done, it's the Christmas Shearwater. Thank you for playing along with our Birdorable Bonanza. ✨ Merry Christmas ✨
Birder on December 25, 2020 at 6:16 PM wrote:
Fine Christmas Shearwater.
Birder on December 26, 2020 at 2:03 AM wrote:
But I got it wrong : (
anders on December 31, 2020 at 11:00 PM wrote:
christmas shearwater
Birder on March 13, 2021 at 6:10 AM wrote:

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