Earlier this month, we asked you to help us choose names for two of our newest animal arrivals. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast for the names submitted by our museum neighbors, including Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, de Young, Oakland Museum of California, Walt Disney Family Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. We've tallied the votes, and it's official—Nori and Bert are the winning names!

Nori (submitted by Asian Art Museum) is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia. In many Asian countries it is used to wrap the rice and fish (a penguin favorite!) and is a main ingredient of sushi. Bert (submitted by Walt Disney Family Museum) is the name of the character played by actor Dick Van Dyke, who famously danced with animated penguins in the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins.

All the Names Proposed by Our Museum Neighbors

MALE NAMES

Bert

Bufano

  • Submitted by the Oakland Museum of California
  • Known for modernist animals and simple shapes, Beniamino Bufano’s sculpture Penguin’s Prayer is on view in the Academy’s East Garden. OMCA has thirteen works by this California-based artist in its collection.

Ebb

  • Submitted by the Exploratorium
  • Like the tides that “ebb and flow” at Pier 15 and archived in their exhibit, Tidal Ribbon, this name reflects the everyday rhythms of penguin life—both in and out of the water.

FEMALE NAMES

Nori

  • Submitted by the Asian Art Museum
  • Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia. In many Asian countries it is used to wrap the rice and fish (a penguin favorite!) and is a main ingredient of sushi.

Pina

  • Submitted by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
  • For the Academy’s African penguins, all the world is a stage. Much like the modern dance choreographer Pina Bausch, this penguin’s unique style, theatrics, and graceful water movements will be legendary.

Stella

  • Submitted by de Young Museum
  • In honor of American artist Frank Stella. As the Academy welcomes two new African penguins to the aquarium, the de Young recently welcomed Stella’s painting Lettre sur les aveugles II (1974) to its collection.
Our Penguin Colony—Part of an Important Conservation Mission
African penguin chicks swimming

African penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010 and are at high risk of extinction in the wild. The Academy’s penguin colony is part of a Species Survival Plan with partner institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This collaborative breeding program is dedicated to maintaining genetic diversity in the captive population of African penguins.

In December 2014, Academy assistant curator Vikki McCloskey and biologist Crystal Crimbchin traveled to South Africa to hand-rear chicks abandoned by their parents and introduce these penguins back into the wild as part of the Academy’s partnership with SANCCOB, a leading conservation organization.

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Penguin Cam

Live Penguin Cam

Now you can watch our African penguins waddle in HD! We’ve just launched a brand-new HD penguin cam. See the birds like never before and catch live feedings twice daily at 10:30 am and 3 pm.

Pocket Penguins App

Pocket Penguins App

Cute Alert! Our penguin cams are now available on a variety of devices. See a live view of our African penguin exhibit anywhere, anytime with Pocket Penguins.