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The most notable aspect of African Penguin behavior is the loud donkey-like braying noise emitted during the ecstatic display. The display is used as a courtship ritual but also to reinforce pair bonds. Allopreening (preening each other) can commonly be observed in African penguins. Penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks and if on their own they use their feet to do so. Allopreening is thus highly practical for cleaning and rearranging their feathers or for removing parasites.
African penguin's diet consists mainly of fish, such as pilchards, sardines and anchovies, and crustaceans. Penguins may travel considerable distances to feed, up to 4 miles. On average a penguin will eat about 4-6 pounds of fish a day.
Between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with the largest colony on Dyer Island, near Kleinbaai
The African penguin is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
- African penguins are warm weather penguins.
Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Sphenisciformes, Spheniscidae
Place of Birth
South-western coast of Africa
27 inches tall and 4-11 pounds
Black and white
20 years in the wild
Where to See
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