Amazing Chinstrap Penguin Facts for Kids
The Chinstrap Penguin is arguably one of the best looking penguins. They have white faces and white bellies with a thin black line that separates their bellies and their faces. They are medium sized penguins that are full of character. They live in colonies and are docile animals that get along well with each other. There are occasional squabbles during mating season but they for the most part live in harmony.
Where Do They Live?
Their white bellies help them to swim unseen among the ice.
They live in Antarctica on cliffs although they have been known to colonize on large icebergs floating around the ocean. They are around 2 feet tall and weigh around 10 lbs. There are about 13 million of these types of penguins although some estimates are much more conservative at 7 million.
What Do They Eat?
They eat mostly Krill but they can subsidize their diet with the occasional squid or fish. They can dive 230 feet but mostly the average dive is about 50-100 feet. Most dives only last about 20 seconds. They dive for feeding and the occasional frolic.
The incubation period for their eggs is about 35 days. After the fledglings hatch they remain with their parents for about 3 weeks. Both mom and dad are responsible for the incubation of the eggs and take turns sitting on the eggs for up to 5 days during the incubation period.
The eggs are laid on dry land in nests. Both the males and the females participate in nest building. They form their nest by using rocks and creating a circular area. The female lays 2 eggs in each clutch. Usually one egg survives and the other one does not.
They are flightless birds that mate for life. They are very good parents. There is a story about two Chinstraps that were male that consistently tried to hatch a rock that they found. This pair lived in Central Park Zoo.
A zookeeper put a fertilized egg in with the pair that they hatched and raised. This endearing story has been immortalized in books.
Who Eats the Chinstrap?
They have several predators with the leopard seal as the primary threat to the adults. Baby chicks and eggs are at risk of being eaten by birds because of their size they are usually unable to stave off predators.
They can live up to 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.