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April 20, 2010

Penguin Behavior: Allopreening


Put simply, allopreening is when one penguin uses its beak to clean and rearrange the feathers of another penguin. Parents also allopreen their chicks in order to keep them clean until they are old enough to preen themselves.  In our exhibit you might see two birds preening each other at the same time. This is called mutual allopreening. This happens mostly between birds that have formed their pair bond. In this case the preening is not only practical but serves to solidify the bond and is a sign of recognition between the pair. Look for this behavior between penguins in our exhibit that have matching colored bands on their wings. They are showing affection, strengthening their bond, and also helping each other to stay clean.  -Pam Montbach

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 12:23 pm

1 Comment »

  1. I never there was a technical difference for when a penguin preened and when it helped another penguin preen. How interesting! I love all the posts you guys put up. It’s helping to learn a lot about penguins. I adore penguins and am glad to see that these little fellows have such a good home. :)

    Comment by Allison — April 29, 2010 @ 12:33 am

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