African Penguins stand just over two feet tall and weigh up to nine pounds. They nest in burrows six feet deep. The African Penguin now faces severe challenges. But even today, at Boulders Beach near Cape Town, it's possible to walk the beach among these charming birds and hear their obstreperous voices. Learn more about the fight to protect the African Penguin. Watch a video of the penguins.
The Jackass Penguins of Africa
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[Magellanic Penguin braying]
During his epoch-making journey aboard The Beagle, naturalist Charles Darwin had several close encounters with penguins. In the 19th century, the penguins he walked among on the Falkland Islands were commonly known as “jackass penguins,” in recognition of their raucous, braying voices. [Magellanic Penguin braying] Today, this species is called Magellanic Penguin. It is one of four closely related penguins known as “banded penguins” for their markings, or “warm-water” penguins for their geographical range. [Magellanic Penguin braying]
One of the Magellanic Penguin’s close cousins is found only along the coast of southern Africa. For many years, its official name was “Jackass Penguin,” and it has the voice to match. [African Penguin braying] But recently, it was renamed African Penguin. African Penguins stand just over two feet tall and weigh up to nine pounds. They nest in burrows dug six feet deep. [African Penguin braying]
The African Penguin now faces severe challenges to its future viability. But even today, at Boulders Beach near Cape Town, you can walk the beach among these charming birds and hearken to their obstreperous voices. [African Penguin braying]
Learn more about the African Penguin—and the fight to protect it—on our web site, BirdNote.org. I’m Frank Corrado.
Calls of the Penguins provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Magellanic Penguin recorded by C. Christopher, African Penguin by T. Smith.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org May 2010
ID# 053107jackass2-2KPLU penguin-02