55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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September 11, 2011

Fall Fashion Week

The fashion runways of New York, Milan, Paris and London are all featuring feathers as one of the season’s top trends. Feathers are, of course, always “in” for penguins and are indeed crucial for them staying warm enough underwater while they search for food. Penguin feathers are highly adapted to provide this insulation but, unfortunately, wear down over time and need to be replaced. Penguins get this process done all at once with what’s called a catastrophic molt.

It’s a slow, arduous process that each penguin must go through about once per year and takes weeks to complete. New feathers are manufactured beneath the skin and essentially push the old feathers out as they grow in. Although there tends to be a pattern in which the molt proceeds penguins often sport some pretty unique feather-do’s, many of which are quite amusing.

Adasha (our beige-banded female) is shown below finishing up her molt last week, eschewing the common disheveled look in favor of a very trendy feather shawl:



Almost all of our birds have now gone through their molt for the year. Dyer (blue/white banded male) and Grendel (yellow male) are just starting to swell up and have had their bands removed. Out with the old and in with the new!

Filed under: Molting — Penguins @ 12:54 pm

September 1, 2011

Pierre and Homey are back on exhibit

We are happy to announce that Pierre and Homey are back on exhibit with the rest of the colony.  The results from Homey’s procedure were better than expected and the two have reestablished themselves in their old territory without any problems.

Homey and Pierre back on their front porch again

Homey and Pierre back on their front porch again.

Many of you may have noticed feathers all over the exhibit (those of us who clean up in there certainly have!).  Jahleel (white-banded female), Agulhas (green-banded male), and Adasha (beige-banded female) are all undergoing their yearly molt and have their bands removed. Look forward to some awesome feather-dos followed by brand-new, sleek plumage from these three over the next couple of weeks…

Jahleel about half-way through her molt

Jahleel about half-way through her molt.

Happy September from all of the penguins here at the Academy!

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 5:59 pm