Skip to main content

Penguin Point

Did you know?

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 uphill from the Wild Wonders theater.
Plan your day
Meet the Keepers
Getting wet is part of the job.
Did you know that otters sleep wrapped up in kelp? That seals can waddle on land as well as swim? Our keepers give unscheduled chats daily, so keep a look out!
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

Animal Athletes

Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out … Continued

Read More
Double Exposed

Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, we asked our assistant curators that very same question. Then our incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of both keeper AND animal, superimposing them … Continued

Read More
Zookeeper Life: Stephanie

Keeper Stephanie’s day involves quite a lot of fish – and shrimp, and clam, and squid. When you care for ten marine mammals and four flocks of seabirds in nine different pools, you do a lot of feeding – and cleaning too. But for keepers like Stephanie at Point Defiance Zoo’s Rocky Shores habitat, creativity … Continued

Read More
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 (in season) and the Discovery Hut.