Eight Things You Might Not Know About Magellanic Penguins

Magellanic Penguins

By Amber Tuttle, Education Intern
Potter Park Zoological Society


1. The exhibit at the zoo has a pool that is six feet deep and has six nest boxes. The current penguin population at the zoo is nine individuals but the exhibit could hold up to 12.

2. Nest boxes are an important place for penguins as they provide a protected area where two animals can pair up, lay eggs, incubate, and take care of newly hatched chicks.

3. The colorful bands on each penguin’s flippers are place there for identification purposes. Look closely – if you see an individual with a band on the left flipper it is female, and if on the right it is a male.

4. The penguins at the zoo eat both capelin and trout. Every individual has a unique preference to which fish they like best.

5. The penguins are hand fed to ensure every individual is getting what they need to maintain optimum health.


6. From August to September the penguins at the zoo molt. Penguins molt once a year and new feathers push out the old. This makes them look like an exploding pillow. During this time, the penguins lose their appetite.

7. The penguins get regular check-ups from the zoo veterinarian to ensure they are healthy.

8. The Potter Park Zoo penguins are part of the Species Survival Plan, a program created to ensure the survival of the species.

Stop in and visit our penguins this summer. They are fed at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Zoo guests are welcome to come and see them in action!