55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
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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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Live Penguin Cams 

October 3, 2011

Finishing up Molting

It’s been a month full of feathers for the Academy’s colony! Fifteen out of seventeen of our birds have completed their yearly molts and look sleek and shiny. Homey (blue-banded female) is finishing up her molt while her mate Pierre (blue-banded male) is showing signs of getting started. Some of you have expressed concern about Homey’s appearance; Homey has always been a funny molter and tends to lose and replace her feathers in a pattern different from the rest. Her feathers are growing in just fine and we expect her new feathers to be all grown in by the end of this week. Please see the photo below for an up-close look at her progress:


Pierre’s appearance is also worth noticing. He’s been eating significantly more than usual over the past couple of weeks and has really been bulking up. Over the past few days his feathers have started loosening up and we just removed his wing-band this afternoon. Keep an eye on the penguin cams over the next few weeks to follow his progress through the molting process.

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 5:35 pm


  1. Thanks for the new pictures of molting penguins. It would be great if you had a page with pictures of all the different penguins in their most “interesting” molt look. I wanted to see Homey’s “vulture” look but am not able to get in this week to see her.

    Comment by Judy Reynolds — October 4, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  2. I just can’t get enough of your penguin blogs and pictures! Two new questions for you:
    Is there any way that you could post closeups of the fronts and backs of all of the penguins? I can sometimes recognize Pierre by the cute little circle shape on the top left side of his belly from earlier pics of him (although it’s difficult with the reduced definition of the webcams) but it would be great to have closeups of all the birds to reference, a rogue’s gallery of sorts!
    Also, today during the 3pm feeding Brooke was talking about all the little bites and scratches she got when she first started working with the penguins. Was that because the penguins didn’t know her and weren’t comfortable with her yet or was it because she didn’t know when to dodge their beaks or was it for some other reason? She has indicated that they are very gentle with her when she is feeding them and clearly loves these penguins and loves working with them. I am so interested in their personalities and how they manifest!
    In the (theoretical) rogue’s gallery it would be fun to have additional bits of information on each penguin like date of birth, parentage, character traits (such as “likes to play with fish before eating” or “doesn’t like to be handled” etc). As you can tell, I’m starved for any and all Penguin particulars!!! Thanks again for everything you all do and for making yourselves available to those of us across the country who aren’t able to be there in person.

    Comment by Karen — October 5, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  3. Hey Pam!!! Thanks for all the new little bits of information today during feeding time! Loved hearing Dunker’s birthday was St. Patty’s day 2007 as well as about some of the behavior info etc… YOU ROCK!!!

    Comment by Karen — October 6, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  4. Hi Karen, I like your idea of a “rogue’s gallery” and will definitely keep this in mind for the future. In regards to the second part of your comment I think it’s a combination of both things that you mentioned. It takes time for the birds to become comfortable around a new person and accept them into the colony just as it takes time for a staff member to become comfortable working with the birds. Both of these aspects are inter-related (ie: as the staff member becomes more comfortable so do the birds and vice versa). Penguins are extremely social animals and have a lot of different behaviors and ways of interacting with each other and those who care for them. When I was learning to work with them it helped me to keep the mantra “I’m the biggest penguin” in my head :)

    Comment by Penguins — October 13, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  5. We are a class of first graders and have been watching your penguin webcam. At 10:15 a.m. central time, we saw something swim in front of the camera. It was so close we could not tell what it was. Could you identify what that was for us please? We read Pierre the Penguin and got your site from the book. We really enjoy you sharing with us!

    Comment by Michele Clark — January 30, 2012 @ 9:22 am

  6. Hi Michele! Unfortunately I’m not able to tell you what it was you were looking at without seeing it myself. It was probably either a penguin or a human, though! :) I’m so glad you’re enjoying our colony and sorry I can’t shed any light on your observation…

    Comment by Penguins — February 7, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

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