There are times when you are away from work that require other staff members to fill in for you. Working with penguins is exactly the same. I will be away from the Academy for a week and a 1/2 and other staff members will be working with the penguins. There are 3 different staff members you will see in the exhibit: Brooke, Vikki and Allan. The penguins will behave differently with each of the staff and will feed differently from each of the staff. As you watch the cameras, you will observe these differences. The penguins can adapt to these differences easily. As a staff we all work together to ensure the health and well being of the entire African penguin colony.
Penguins replace all of their feathers once a year. This is called Molting. It is a penguin’s feathers that provide insulation in cold water and they must be in good condition in order to keep the penguin warm. Before a penguin replaces its feathers it eats more than normal and gains up to several pounds. This aids the penguin as during molt the bird does not swim. In fact for a period of up to 14-21 days the penguin will stay on land and live off of stored fat until the feathers are completely replaced. African penguins can potentially molt any time of the year. “Dunker”, “Adasha”, “Domino” and “Pierre” are currently replacing their feathers. The photo is of “Pierre”, his wing band has been taken off until he has grown all of his new feathers in.-Pamela Schaller