Puffed up penguins- World Penguin Day

By Victoria Metcalf 29/04/2015


Over the weekend, in case you missed it, it was World Penguin Day, an annual day to think about those dapper-suited gentlemen and women and how much fun they bring to our lives.

Let’s face it, I think everyone LOVES penguins. I’m yet to meet anyone that isn’t pretty mesmerised or completely besotted by the waddling birds. Whether you’ve met them many times or just once in person, or your penguin experiences are documentaries, soft toys, Pingu, Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, books, gifs, YouTube, and advertising, it’s clear that penguins captivate in their unique, anthropomorphic way.

And there are definitely plenty of reasons to adore them. I could fill a book or more with all the interesting and wonderful things about penguins that there are to know. How deep they can dive and what their body does physiologically to make that happen, their annual moult and crazy feather do’s, the emperor penguin’s winter breeding cycle, their stone stealing- the list goes on.

In brand new, weird but interesting news, a large (and we’re talking 1.5 million participants) citizen science project (http://www.penguinwatch.org/ within http://penguinlifelines.org/) that uses people to count penguins in photos taken by webcams has released a finding. The data has shown penguins use their faeces to melt snow faster than it naturally would when they congregate prior to breeding. What’s not to love?

Emperor penguins
Emperor penguins

I speak a lot about penguins in my public talks and mostly I use my personal experiences to share the science. The time king penguins came and pulled my gloves off or watching a highly competent and nonchalant Adelie penguin stone thief in action. The adrenaline-racing moment of seeing emperor penguins for the first time. The cacophony of sound and chaos of a Royal penguin colony. Finding yellow-eyed penguins with Miss5. One day I will write that book.

But to keep it brief I’ll share this video here Miss5 and I created last year as Campaign Managers for the Adelie Penguin in the Bird of the Year competition. It’ll give you a bit more insight into Antarctica’s most numerous penguin. And you can also find more detail about Adelie penguins in my blog post here.

If the video doesn’t leave you satiated, don’t worry there’s more. Dez Blanchfield (@dez_blanchfield), IT expert and leader,  took to #WorldPenguinDay, well like a penguin to seawater. He created worldpenguinday.org with his family over the weekend.



There are links to 15 awesome penguin sites within, including deep dive info on all species of penguins. I hope with all the attention that penguins get on this one special day a year that people are also thinking about their future- what their prognosis is in a rapidly changing world.

So what are you waiting for? Fill up on penguins!

Adelie feeding

And please feel free to share your thoughts about or favourite moments with penguins below.