Penguin Watch Talk

Groups of penguins

  • OlgaUkolova by OlgaUkolova

    These chicks are so cute)) Looks like a kindergarten! I wonder, is it their usual separation from parents or it is behavior only in the moulting season?


  • yshish by yshish moderator, translator in response to OlgaUkolova's comment.

    Hi Olga,

    It is a good question.

    Breeding season in penguins have stages. Just after hatching, the chicks are too small to stay on their own and need to be warmed by their parents who take turns in the parental care (and the other one goes foraging for food in the meantime). As the chicks grow up and become able to regulate their body temperature, their parents are finally both allowed to go fishing (they need to gain more food for their chicks now, and they are also quite hungry), and so the chicks have to take care of themselves. To prevent becoming a prey and to keep warm when the temperature decrease, they form such "crèches" as you can see in this picture. They are usually guarded by a few adults anyway.

    In King penguins, the breeding cycle is much longer than in other species we have here (over a year) and there are always chicks of different age present at once (the smallest ones are hidden under a skin fold of their parents, sitting on their feet, do you won't see them). So you will see King chick crèches like anytime over the year.

    As for the moulting, all penguins both adult and juveniles do moult. Juveniles to change their chick plumage for the adult plumage, adults to change the old feathers for new ones - to keep the insulation and waterproof qualities.

    More about chick raising to be read in our FAQs:

    and about breeding cycles here:

    Hope that explains your question 😃

    Cheers, Zuzi

    By the way, have you tried Penguin Watch 2.0 running on the new platform? It us not in the final form yet but we're getting there day by day.