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September 30, 2009

Penguin Team Member: I am Back!


After five months of being away (not the 10 days I orginally planned for or expected) I am finally back. Today will be my first morning feeding the penguins and cleaning the exhibit. I am excited to find out how the penguins will react to my re-introduction. I will be re-learning the penguins as some have become sexually mature while I was away. You will also notice the change in the blog. It is a cooperative effort to get to know some of the other penguin biologists. You will see them in the exhibit ranging from a few times per month to a few times per week. They will share their personal experiences as they interact with these intriguing animals. I am looking forward to catching you up to date with everything from current African penguin conservation issues to our plans to become a breeding facility. Sincerely, Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 9:55 am


  1. My dad showed me you came back today. The penguins look happy with you. You smile with them. We will watch the penguins since you are there.

    Comment by Jeff Cannes — September 30, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

  2. Pam,we visit often and have missed seeing your penguin shows.You obviously love your job.We are glad to have you back to catch your program.When is the best time to watch the penguins?

    Comment by Marc Winser — September 30, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

  3. I have followed your blog and was disappointed not to see it continue,now I understand you were gone. Will you keep blogging again? It was great!What do you mean by breeding facility? Haven’t the penguins been making homes, why are there not any baby penguins?

    Comment by Chris Evans — September 30, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  4. Pam the penguin lady:I am taking my 11 year old daughter to the Academy to come see you and her favorite penguins today.She watches the penguins regularly and wants to study them when she is older.Shehas called you the penguin lady since she was 4.We cannot wait to get there!

    Comment by Sally Divir — October 1, 2009 @ 4:51 am

  5. Pam, It is fun to watch you interact with the penguins! Are they friendly?

    Comment by Jerry Caleb — October 1, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  6. Yeah! Missed your blog, they were following you everywhere. Are you doing the shows again too?

    Comment by Simon Carter — October 1, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  7. Welcome Back, Pam!!! We missed while you were away and are really happy that you are back. Can’t wait to year about the penguins and also about the plans for becoming a breeding facility.

    Comment by Lynn — October 1, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  8. Welcome back! :)

    Comment by Daryl Boman — October 2, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  9. Pam, it’s great to have you back after your surgery. Hope you are well and look forward to your blogs.

    Comment by Donovan Rittenbach — October 2, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

  10. Superb, informative show today. Welcome back!

    Comment by Barbara Hoyt — October 2, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  11. Penguin Mom is finally here again. They seemed to recognize you, jumping in your lap and following you. You are so enthusiastic.

    Comment by Howard B — October 2, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  12. It is good to hear you are back at work. The penguin feedings haven’t been the same since you have been gone. Now that you are back we look forward to interacting with you on the blog and at the feedings. Calvin

    Comment by Calvin York — October 2, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

  13. Count me as one of the many folks (and birds) who are so glad you’ve returned.

    Comment by Cindy Powers — October 3, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  14. Pamela,You are always smiling and seem thrilled with your work. It is great to have you back. The penguins seem more lively, animated. Will catch your penguin show again soon.

    Comment by Harvey Jo — October 4, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  15. Shining like starz. The penguinest grooviest. PAMELA.

    Comment by Chris Sig — October 4, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  16. So glad you are back! I have missed you!

    Comment by Karen in OH — October 5, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  17. Hi Marc, Penguins are diurnal (active during the day). The best times to watch are around feeding times 10:30am and 3:30pm PST.

    Comment by pschaller — October 6, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  18. Hello Chris, We work with the African Penguin Species Survival Plan to ensure sustainable demographics and a diverse gene pool. We have been recommended to breed some of our couples and expect to see some nest building by the couples in the spring.

    Comment by pschaller — October 6, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  19. Yes Sally, many of the penguins are freindly with the staff, especially with the staff that has raised some of the penguin chicks.

    Comment by pschaller — October 6, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  20. Hi Simon, I perform the penguin feeding shows Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

    Comment by pschaller — October 6, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  21. Pam, The penguins flock to you whenever you enter the exhibit. Do you know them all? How do you know who is who? Thank you for caring for them. Katherine W.C.

    Comment by Katherine Collins — October 6, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  22. Welcome back Penguin Lady, I cannot wait till your next blog. What has happened since you have been back?-Hilary

    Comment by Hilary Cox — October 6, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  23. Welcome back penguin momma. We have missed your antics. How was your first days back? Did they remember you? Signed, Theresa and friends.

    Comment by Theresa — October 6, 2009 @ 7:40 pm

  24. Pam.Caught your penguin show this afternoon, lots of information. I see your dedication and enthusiasm. Fun. I am wondering about the bands that you put on the penguins. Are they plastic? Are they recycled? Fred Drapman

    Comment by Fredster D — October 7, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  25. Pam. Good to see you back. I remember reading about a wetsuit for a Penguin, but have you ever allowed one of the Penguin’s to wear a hawaiian shirt like the one in “50 First Dates”?

    Comment by Bill Hughes — October 10, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  26. Hi Katherine, After working with these penguins for the past nine years, I look at each penguin as though they are an individual. Their faces and body shapes look unique. Their behaviors also vary and can be used to identify each bird. If there is ever a question, the birds have wing bands that identify each bird. They are all also micro-chipped in case wing bands come off. So, there are lots of ways to keep track of every penguin.

    Comment by pschaller — October 14, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

  27. Hi Hilary, The most obvious thing that has happened since I have been away is that many of the juvenile penguins have molted into their adult feathers. In addition, a few have started to flirt with other penguins and attempted nest building.

    Comment by pschaller — October 14, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  28. Hi Theresa (and friends), I was overwhelmed my first few days back. With a few of the penguins in different feathers and a few in different bands there was alot to keep track of. And intially, they seemed to rush over and surround me. This sometimes even created penguin squabbles to get to the “inner circle”. I have to re-learn their dominancy structure as it has changed and watch the new adult feathered birds establish hierarchy and pairs. I was careful to limit my time in the exhibit and to move around quite a bit. But as days turn into weeks, we are all settling down.

    Comment by pschaller — October 14, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  29. Hi Fred, I have not heard back from our manufacturer yet, re: recycled plastic. However, the huge advantage to these new wingbands is that they are re-usuable.

    Comment by pschaller — October 14, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  30. Hi Bill, While the movie is humurous and they “Adam Sandler” did dress up an African penguin in a Hawaiian shirt, this is an unusual situation outside of Hollyweird. Adam was trying to get the attention of a potential (human) girlfriend. While Drew Barrymore may have been impressed, I am sure the penguin was not wearing the shirt because he was cold or had massive feather loss. The only time I “dressed” a penguin was in a neoprene vest due to a medical condition that did not respond to any other known treatment. Luckily, the vest allowed for normal, natural movement and eventually the penguin grew new feathers. Nice penguin wearing clothes reference!

    Comment by pschaller — October 14, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

  31. Do the penguins learn? How do you know when they are trained? Thanks for your expertise.

    Comment by Miley Hanson — October 18, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  32. Pam, saw you yesterday. You are entertaining and informative.

    Comment by Jason Gather — October 18, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  33. hi me and my class are comeing on januray 21

    Comment by no — January 19, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

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