African Penguin

You can find penguins in Africa! This is suprising as they are usually associated with much colder climates. The African Penguin is found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies along the coast from Namibia to Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The African Penguin is also known as the Jackass Penguin and Black-footed Penguin. These names come from its donkey-like bray, although several related species of South American penguins produce the same sound. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat. Adult penguins are around 65 cms tall and have distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black facial mask; the body upperparts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts, which are spotted and marked with a black band. This pink gland above their eyes helps them to cope with changing climates. When the temperature gets hotter, the body of the African Penguin sends more blood to these glands to be cooled by the air surrounding it.

South Africa is a fantastic place for birdwatchers - please see our Blog for more details.

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