King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus



King penguins make no nest, and instead lay a single egg which they hold on their feet for the entire incubation period of about 55 days. The eggs are brooded by both parents and alternate between 6 to 18 days. The non-brooding parent will then go out to sea to forage for food.
After the incubation period the chicks are then held on the parents feet for the first 30 - 40 days, this allows for the unfledged chick to develop its plumage \to regulate their own body temperature. During chick-rearing, parents continue to take turns at brooding and foraging,
Chicks are placed in groups and protected by the colony, this allows for both adults go to sea on prolonged foraging trips. By mid-winter, chicks are still dependent on the adults, and often undergo periods of up to 3 months between feeds. Healthy chicks have been shown to be able to survive up to about 5 months without being fed. It is quite common for chicks to lose 50% of their body weight whilst waiting for food. The full period from egg to fledged chick is around 13-16 months.(Bried, J., F. Jiguet, P. Jouventin. 1999;Marino Bio)

Recommended Citation

King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: