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Penguin Point

Did you know?

Spheniscus magellanicus

How long can you hold your breath while grocery shopping? Magellanic penguins can breath-hold for 3-5 minutes, which lets them dive deep for food.

Discover penguins

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
These penguins nest and breed in low forests or flat land along the southern coast of South America. But they’re pelagic - they spend most of their lives at sea. Find ours near Budgies and Camels.
Plan your day
Eating
(and predators!)
Magellanic penguins eat seafood: mostly anchovies and sardines, but also cuttlefish, squid and krill.
Predators include giant petrels, foxes, pumas, sea lions, orcas and humans. Chicks and eggs can fall prey to kelp gulls, skuas and more.
Taking turns
to keep the egg warm.
Males attract mates by “braying” like donkeys; when a female responds he walks around her in a circle patting her with his flippers.
Parents take turns incubating the eggs, and newborns stay with parents for a month.
Preening
each other.
About 27 inches tall, Magellanic penguins are about in the middle of the penguin height range.
Mated pairs preen each other and hit bill tips together to bond.

Protecting penguins

Coated by oil, starved by plastic.

THE THREAT: Magellanic penguins face many threats in the wild. Oil spills coat their bodies. Plastic pollution chokes and starves them. Commercial fishing depletes their food, and they themselves are hunted.

TAKE ACTION: Protect our oceans – and their birds – by reducing your use of plastics and fossil fuels. Support wildlife protection laws, and speak up against off-shore drilling.

Marine Stories

New tiger Bandar arrives

New year, new tiger. There’s a cool new cat in town, and he’s making his official public debut this weekend, with appearances in the main Asian Forest Sanctuary Waterfall Exhibit at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Our keepers will talk about Bandar and give him some enrichments. His name is Bandar, and he’s a … Continued

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Growing Kiwis for Critters

Behind the Asian Forest Sanctuary at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, volunteer Scott Murdock has disappeared behind a vine. The massive spread of large, furling leaves engulfs Murdock’s head, leaving visible just legs on a ladder. Sprawled in the sun, the vines smell rich and green. It’s the Zoo’s kiwifruit arbor, and Murdock gently twists … Continued

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Moea the sea otter arrives

She’s calm and confident– and loves her breakfast. Moea (pronounced “Mia”) is the newest sea otter at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and she’s already settling into life at the Rocky Shores habitat with our other otters Libby and Sekiu. She’ll make her official debut with them Jan. 5 and 6, with special sea otter … Continued

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Who's nearby?
Seen our penguins? Find the rest of the Rocky Shores animals over on the other side of the Zoo, past the Pacific Seas Aquarium. Next to the penguins you’ll find budgies and camels (in season) and the Discovery Hut.