Did you know that all penguins practice fasting during the year? Prior to fasting, penguins build up a thick fat layer which will provide energy during the fast period. Penguins fast for two reasons. First, some species don't leave their nesting grounds during the entire courtship, breeding and incubation period. Their food is found in the water so they are unable to feed if they don't leave the nesting grounds. Penguins also fast during seasonal molt.
When their new waterproof feathers are just growing in, they are unable to enter the water to feed. Different penguin species have different fast lengths. The male Emperor Penguin has the longest fasting period during breeding season. While preparing and caring for chicks, a male Emperor Penguin will fast for an incredible 90 to 120 days!
If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the African Penguin. African Penguins breed colonially, like most other penguin species. They use burrows or natural depressions on a rocky surface as a nesting site. Usually two eggs are laid and incubation takes approximately 40 days. Both parents incubate the eggs and brood the hatchlings, which may fledge after 60 days or up to 130 days after hatching.
South African penguin and egg by galeforce.19
African penguin (jackass penguin)chicks Boulders Beach Simons Town South AFrica by mpp26
African penguin with chick, Boulders Beach, South Africa by Paul Mannix
357 by liquidpremium
African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) with chick
African Penguin chick flappin by giles.breton
Penguin and Parent by funkymelody
African Penguin with Chick, Boulders by Photovolcanica
If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Yellow-eyed Penguin. Unlike other penguin species, the Yellow-eyed Penguin is relatively solitary. They do not breed in colonies. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 43 days and one of the adults will remain with the growing chicks constantly until they are about six weeks old.
chick of Yellow Eyed Penguin@Oamaru(2008-01-22) by take-m
Yellow-eyed Penguin by Mike NZ
Hoiho or Yellow-Eyed Penguins by f0rbe5
Yellow-Eyed Penguin Chick Seeking Food by f0rbe5
Yellow Eye Penguin And Chick, Dunedin, New Zealand by stephanieetstephane
A new bird recently added to Birdorable is the African Penguin. The African Penguin lives on the southwest coast of Africa. The species is also called Black-footed Penguin and is the only species of penguin to breed in Africa. African Penguins have pink glands around their eyes which become darker or lighter depending on how hot the bird is feeling. Dark glands indicate the bird is hot; more blood is being routed there to be cooled. It's like a built-in air-conditioner/temperature gauge!
One particular African Penguin became very famous in the late 2000's when he suffered feather loss. Pierre the penguin was living at the California Academy of Sciences at the time of his 2004 molt, which seemed might be his last. The loss of feathers threatened Pierre's life, not to mention his social standing among his fellow penguins. To help Pierre, scientists and wetsuit manufacturers devised a penguin-sized neoprene wetsuit for the bird. The wetsuit saved Pierre and eventually the lost feathers grew back. Here's a short video that chronicles Pierre's situation.
With veryfewexceptions, our Birdorable cute bird illustrations are of adult plumage birds. If you think they're cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Here are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Adelie Penguin.
Check out this beautiful tree put together by Peter, a Boy Scout in Utah. Peter's tree is totally bird themed, from the birdy ornaments hanging from the boughs to the Cardinal tree-topper and the awesome spread of birder goodies under the tree! I see birdhouses, bird field guides, even a spotting scope! And I hear there are a few Birdorable ornaments on the tree, too.
Peter's tree is now showing at the Festival of Trees in Sandy, Utah. The festival runs through December 5th and includes more than 800 decorated trees. The show benefits the Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Thanks for sharing photos of your cool Birdwatcher Tree with us, Peter!