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Humboldt Penguins arrive at Birdland

Birdland park & Garedens

The popular Penguin Shore exhibition at Birdland in Bourton on the Water has welcomed three new Humboldt Penguins to the community.
The penguins arrived from Dudley Zoo and have quickly adapted to life with 7 humboldts and 18 King Penguins in the Cotswolds.
The penguins may look funny waddling on land, but the special windows in the water mean you can see this waddling turn to power and elegance once they are underwater and truly in their element.  They can swim up to speeds of up to 20 miles an hour steering with their feet and tail.
Humboldt’s also have amazing eyesight seeing as well underwater as they do on land – helping them to hunt down their prey – small fish such as anchovies and herring.  They have a spiny tongue which helps them to catch the fish.
Ali Keen, Head Keeper said “The new penguins have settled in really well and getting used to the new surroundings and routine at Birdland.
Egg Watching!
Humboldts are caring parents and share the job of incubating their eggs for about 40 days.  Existing Birdland Humboldt residents Myrtle and her partner Chloe (who was hand-reared at Birdland and thought to be a female until he fathered chick 2 years ago!) are sitting tight on their 2 eggs, swapping incubation duties every couple of days.  They are continuing to build a nest around the eggs which will be due to hatch sometime around the end of the month Once the chick is born they take turns to forage for food whilst the other cares for the chick. It isn’t until the chick is about 2 months old that they can be left during the day. 
Humboldt Facts:

  • Humboldts have very spiny tongues which help to keep fish in their bill - useful for when they are bringing food for young     chicks back to the nest.
  • In the wild, Humboldts build burrows dug into ‘guano’ which is bird and seal poo!
  • Humboldts can drink sea-water as well as fresh water.
  • However, over-fishing and habitat destruction have left the Humboldt Penguin vulnerable.
  • They live for up to 20 years in the wild and have been known to live as long as 30 in captivity.

Penguin Feeding display takes place daily at 2.30pm

Explore Gloucestershire
15 March 2013

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