Description and features of crested penguin
Crested penguin belongs to the floating is not flying birds. The crested penguin genus includes 18 species, including the southern crested penguin, Eastern and Northern crested penguin.
The southern subspecies lives on the coasts of Argentina and Chile. The Eastern crested penguin found on the Islands of Marion Campbell and Crozet. Northern crested penguin can be viewed at the Amsterdam Islands.
Crested penguin, quite a funny creature. The name itself literally translates as «white head», and centuries ago, sailors called these birds «fat» from the Latin word «pinguis».
Animal growth does not exceed 60 cm, and the weight is 2-4 kg. But before the molt, the bird may «recover» up to 6-7 kg. Males can easily be distinguished among the flock – they are large size females on the contrary, smaller in size.
Attractive penguin colouring: blue-black back and white belly. The whole body of the penguin is covered with feathers, long 2.5-3 cm, Unusual coloration of the head, upper throat and cheeks – all black in color.
But round eyes with dark red pupils. The wings are also black shade at the edges you can see a thin white stripe. The beak is brown color, thin, long. Foot are closer to the back, short, pale pink.
Why «crested» penguin? Because of the crests with tassels that stretches from beak, the Pappus yellow-white hue. Crested penguin is ability to move these combs. Many photos crested penguin conquer his unusual appearance, serious, but kind look.
The lifestyle and habitat of the crested penguin
Crested penguin is a social bird that is rarely found alone. They usually form entire colonies, which can contain more than 3 thousand individuals. Prefer to dwell at the foot of cliffs or coastal slopes. In need of fresh water, so they can often be found near fresh water sources and reservoirs.
Birds are noisy, emit a loud and noisy sounds through which they communicate with their brethren and warn each other of danger. These «songs» can be heard during the mating period, but only during the day, the night the penguins make no sound.
But, despite this, crested penguins are quite aggressive towards each other. If the territory went uninvited guest, the penguin bows down to the ground, with its crests rise.
He spreads wings and starts to bounce slightly and stomp their feet. All it is accompanied by a sharp voice. If the opponent does not concede, the battle will be begun with powerful blow to the head. Despite its large size, the males are crested penguin, brave warriors, without fear, and bravely they always protect their mates and cubs.
In relation to your friends, they are always polite and friendly. Not loud, they were talking with their comrades in the pack. Interesting to see how the penguins come out of the water – bird shakes her head left and right, as if to greet each member of the pack.
The male meets the female, stretching his neck, stamping, loud cries, if the female responds in kind, the couple recognized each other and were reunited.
Food crested penguin
The diet of crested penguins is rich and diverse. Basically the bird to obtain its food in the sea, it feed on small fish, fins, shellfish. Eat anchovies, sardines, drinking sea water, and excess salt is excreted through glands located above the eyes of a bird.
The bird is gaining a lot of fat in a few months, while in the Maritime space. This may be a long week without food. When hatched the Chicks, the female is responsible for food in the family.
She goes to sea, not only brings food to the nestlings, but the male. Without his wife, the penguin feeds its offspring milk, which is formed at the time of hatching eggs.
The reproduction and lifespan of crested penguin
On average, big-crested penguin can live up to 25 years. Thus for all his life, he gives birth to over 300 calves. But the beginning of «family life» at the penguin starts with … fights.
Often, to entice the female at mating between males there is a real competition. Two contenders, winning the female, widely spread its wings, hitting my head and all this performance is accompanied by loud rattling.
That female went on contact, the male penguin need to prove to her that he would be an exemplary family man, usually his «songs», and if the female is obedient, this is the beginning of «family life».
To equip the socket have male. He brings twigs, stones and grass, equipping future home for posterity. Eggs are laid in early October. Over time, the female displays no more than 2 eggs, greenish blue in color.
The first egg is larger, but it almost always dies. The female great crested penguin incubates the eggs for about a month, after which she leaves the nest and to shift care of the baby the male.
Females is about 3-4 weeks, and the male fasting all this time, warming and protecting the egg. After the chick is born, the female feeds him, belching the food. In February, the young penguins the first plumage, and they together with the parents are accustomed to an independent life.
Unfortunately, over the past 40 years, the population of crested penguin has declined by almost half. But, nevertheless, a large crested penguin continues to save his family as the unique sea birds.