Baby Penguins: All You Need To Know

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Baby Penguins: Ultimate Guide

These fluffy chicks or baby penguin may be among the cutest of all bird species and their personality also adds to their charm.

Baby Penguins

What is a baby penguin called?

Baby penguin are usually called chicks, but may also be referred to as nestlings like in other young ones of bird species. Baby penguins do not have a specific name yet.

What does a baby penguin look like?

The baby penguins spot a covering of grey, white, or brown down feathers upon hatching. The size and color may vary depending on the penguin species.

In the case of emperor and king penguin species, this covering of feathers may be absent as they are born naked. In the course of 1 year, these baby penguins develop full adult plumage.

Emperor Baby Penguin

They are born naked without any feathers but after some weeks grow their first grey don coat. The head consists of a black helmet on top that can be tracked on the side of the neck and all the way to the chin, but the face and throat remain white.

The thicker second down is usually darker and longer overall. A brownish wash can be observed on the chest and the abdomen.

Juvenile emperor chicks have less black on the head and around the eyes a diffused grey color is present. Their throat has a whitish-grey complexion and the yellow tinge under the neck is lacking in them.

King Baby Penguin

They like emperor chicks hatch without any feathers and later develop a brown or pale feather coat in few weeks. The second down in their case is dark brown.

Their crown feathers are tipped with greyish color and they have faint markings on their beak’s bottom half. The back of their head has a bright patch consisting of pale lighter yellow.

Gentoo Baby Penguin

These chicks have a greyish-brown or grey first down. The head is usually darker while the underparts are whitish in color. Their second down consist of greyish-brown above.

They have duller and weaker bills than adults. The throat is grey and the eyering is incomplete.

Adelie Baby Penguin

These chicks are characterized by pale grey feathers that are usually much darker on the head region and the second down is generally sooty brown.

They also have white chins and throat, while the ear covers and cheek and sometimes the chin is also dark. Initially, the orbital ring and the bill are also dark.

Macaroni Baby Penguin

They hatch with a grey down that is present on their upper parts, throat, head, and chin, while the rest is white. The second down plumage is initially similar but later develops a greyish-brown hue.

They may or may not have a shorter crest. Their short bill is dull when compared with the adults. The yellow can be observed only on side of the crown and streaks of forecrown. The iris is dark brown, while the throat and chin appear dark.

Chinstrap Baby Penguin

Their first down is pale grey and they often have a paler shade on their head. The second feathers give the underpants a dirty white color and the upper parts are brownish-grey.

Their plumage has tiny dark streaks on the fore face, that are more visible around the eye. The bill is smaller and the iris is darker than the adult.

African Baby Penguin

They have dark brownish-grey color and their abdomen and throats are much paler. They also have pale patches near their eye region.

Their second down appears blueish-grey on the upper parts while the rest of the parts have short pale stripes and brown shade.

Their upper parts are slate-colored while their head is paler on the sides. The underpants may have a few dark spots but otherwise is mostly white. They have a darkish grey bill and their legs may be dusky grey, dark or pale pinkish grey.

How big is a baby penguin?

The chicks or baby penguin may vary in size based on the species they belong to. The little and smallest penguins chicks may be small as 3 inches in length. While the largest species like emperor penguins on hatching can be of the average length of 4 inches.

How much does a baby penguin weigh?

Baby penguin’s weight would also vary depending upon the species. The chicks of little penguins on hatching weigh 35 grams while the larger species like emperor penguins weigh around 315 grams when they hatch.

What do baby penguins eat?

The baby penguin feed on a mixture of squid, krill, and regurgitated fish. In some species of penguins, the regurgitated food is completely digested, unlike others. This process occurs within a couple of days wherein the nutrients are processed to release oil that is fed to chicks and termed fish milk.

How do penguins feed their babies?

The adult penguins ingest their food after which it is processed in a manner that can be suitable for consumption by chicks. This is done in 3 different ways like regurgitation, processing milk and the last method is to swallow the whole of the food to refrigerate it.

All these processes work depend on the feed consumed by the parents like squid, krill, and fish. This food is then held and processed in the parent’s body.

After the chick’s feed is prepared the adult opens their beak wide, then the chicks place their beak into the parent’s beak such they can intake the regurgitated food. The beak works similarly to a giant spoon to feed the chicks.

Where do penguins nest?

Some species of penguins built relatively simple nests, while others don’t construct any sort of nests. Both king and emperor penguins do not construct nests, and they balance their eggs on the males’ feet. While some like little and macaroni penguins make their nest in a shallow depression on the ground.

The chinstrap penguins assemble stones, pebbles, and twigs to make stable surfaces to provide suitable sites for their eggs so that they won’t roll away.

What do penguin eggs look like?

The eggs of most species may be either grey or white eggs. In certain species, there may be tints of green or blue. Nest-building species may have rounded eggs, while the penguins that balance their eggs on their feet have pear-shaped eggs.

The eggs of emperor penguins may weigh 315 – 415 grams and may be long as 10 to 13 cm. While the eggs of Adelie penguin that constitute smaller species may have eggs that weigh 140 grams and may be 2 to 3 inches long.

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