Adelie
African
Blue
Chinstrap
Emperor
Erect Crested
Fiordland
Galapagos
Gentoo
Humboldt
King
Macaroni
Magellanic
Rockhopper
Royal
Snares Crested
Yellow-Eyed

Description

The Adélie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, is a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast. They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds, as are the Emperor Penguin. In 1840, French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville named them for his wife, Adéle. These penguins are mid-sized, being 46 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) in length and 3.6 to 6 kg (7.9 to 13 lb) in weight. Distinctive marks are the white ring surrounding the eye and the feathers at the base of the bill. These long feathers hide most of the red bill. The tail is a little longer than other penguins' tails. The appearance looks somewhat like a tuxedo. They are a little smaller than other penguin species. Their appearance is closest to the stereotypical image of penguins as mostly black with a white belly.

Habitat

There are 38 colonies of Adélie penguins, and there are over 5 million Adélies in the Ross Sea region. Ross Island supports a colony of approximately half a million Adélies.

Breeding

The Adélie penguins breed from October to February on shores around the Antarctic continent. Adelies build rough nests of stones. Two eggs are laid, these are incubated for 32 to 34 days by the parents taking turns (shifts typically last for 12 days). The chicks remain in the nest for 22 days before joining creches. The chicks moult into their juvenile plumage and go out to sea after 50 to 60 days.

Diet

The Adélie penguin is known to feed mainly on Antarctic krill, ice krill, Antarctic silverfish, and Glacial Squid (diet varies depending on geographic location) during the chick-rearing season.

Threats

Adelie penguins are preyed on by leopard seals and skua.