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

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Live Penguin Cams 

November 25, 2008

Penguin Behavior

The photo is of “Dunker” lifting his beak into the air and fluffing its head feathers outwards.  The  behavior is described as an Ecstatic display.  This is usually performed while a penguin is in its territory.  It is performed after another bird threatens, or if many birds are also displaying.  The primary function is advertisement, attracting females, or stating territory ownership.  This young bird is displaying after being challenged by another young male.   The juveniles are currently challenging each other for dominance and for territory.  This is observed frequently for the first few years of their life.

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony,Dunker,Penguin Science — Penguins @ 3:32 pm


  1. Thanks for providing the penguin cams. they are fun.

    Comment by Dyenia — December 1, 2008 @ 9:06 am

  2. How long do these penguins live? I have Academy poster of Ursula hanging on the wall in my hallway, which is some years old — is Ursula still alive?

    Comment by Cheri Collins — December 4, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  3. African penguins usually live for 10-15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity. Ursula lived until she was 23 years old.

    Comment by pschaller — December 5, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  4. On Thursday, January 7, I observed Dunker trying to see or jump over the back wall both early in the day, (9:00am) and also later in the afternoon (2:00pm). I know he is a curious fellow, but what is his interest in the back part of the exhibit?

    Comment by Tom Shamp — January 8, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  5. I watch you feed the penguins daily, from the wonderful iPhone app!!! It’s a great way to show them off and I’m learning about them!!! It would be funny and cool to see the molting penguins’ mo-hawks/in-between stages of the molt, and have them posted here in a blog. It would be funny to see them every year-to see if they have a signature look every molt. :)

    Thank you for ALL your hard work you do everyday!!!!

    Comment by lex chan — July 24, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  6. Dunker is such a wonderful caring penguin towards the staff that cares for him!! Is is my favorite!! I’ve been watching him on my smartphone!! Why do the other penguins pick on moulting penguins? Also I noticed that there is one penguin (from what I can see) that has a black marking on his/her throat area….what is that penguin’s name? On my smartphone is it very hard to see the color bands.

    Thank you for your time,

    Comment by lex c — August 2, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  7. Hi Lex, There are a few penguins in our colony that have that marking. Two that are seen frequently are Jahzara and Ocio.-Pamela Schaller

    Comment by Penguins — August 9, 2011 @ 10:36 am

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