Pierre the Penguin is doing very well and no longer needs to wear a wetsuit (if you don’t know his story, see the link on this web page or search online for “Pierre the Penguin”). He has claimed a nest with his mate Homey. African penguins form very strong bonds and mate for life. Pierre and Homey live in the nest farthest away from the Wide View web cam. They have the blue wing bands. Pierre is banded on his right wing and Homey on her left wing. Together they are exploring the new exhibit, resting in their new territory and spending most of their day cleaning each others feathers.
“Brenton” hatched on 25 October 2007 and is celebrating his first birthday today! To identify him on camera he has an orange wing band on his right wing and a gold wing band on his left wing. He was named as part of our website contest allowing participants to vote, with the most votes determining the name. Brenton is also the name of an island off of the coast of South Africa. This is one of the 24 islands and 3 mainland sites that the African penguin inhabits. In 1994 there were 99 adult African penguins that lived on Brenton Island.-Pamela Schaller
The Academy is a member of the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP). We are one of 45 institutions that participate in this important population management program. All institutions work together in order to maintain the most diverse gene pool possible. This allows the participating members to transfer penguins around North America. The Academy has reared many chicks that have been sent to mature and breed at other facilities. This is Domino at the age of 29 days, he will eventually be a part of this important breeding program, hopefully contributing his genes to many chicks of his own.-Pamela Schaller
The California Academy of Sciences houses 20 African penguins. The youngest “Brenton” hatched on 25 October 2007 and the oldest “Pierre” hatched on 16 February 1983. Adults look very different from young (juvenile) penguins. Adults have white stripes on the side of their heads and a black stripe across their chest. Juveniles have dark grey heads and do not get their adult feathers until they are about 18-20 months old. The photo above is of 8 juvenile penguins and 1 adult penguin (lower right side of photo).
Welcome to our new academy site, I am the primary biologist that cares for our African penguins. They are challenging and rewarding to work with. Every week I will add a new post updating on the colony, the exhibit or individual birds. To start, the photo is of our new exhibit located in Africa Hall. It represents Boulders Beach in South Africa, a location where these penguins are found in the wild. We mimic their natural environment including changing the air temperature, water temperature and lighting through the days and year. The Penguin cameras are for us and for you to enjoy. They are designed to work under very low light conditions. At night even though it may look bright in the exhibit, the exhibit is dark and the penguins are at rest. We are excited to have you join us with the latest in technology and care of these African penguins.