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The Life Cycle

The Life Cycle

July - August - September
  • Penguins begin Nest Building & Mating

  • Egg laying starts

August – September – October
  • Penguins incubate their eggs for 36 days

  • Guarding and feeding chicks for 2 – 3 weeks

October – November – December
  • Both parents return from sea daily to feed their chicks

  • Chicks are banded at 5 weeks old

  • By 8 weeks old the chicks are fully grown

  • Chicks leave the nest (fledge) and go to sea for 6 - 12 months

  • Early season breeders start the process again (double brooders)

December – January – February
  • 2nd clutches start hatching

  • Adult birds come and go from the colony, doubling their body weight in preparation for moulting

March – April
  • Moulting

  • Adult and juvenile birds return to nest boxes for 2 – 3 weeks whilst old feathers fall out and new ones grow. It is a very stressful time as birds are unable to go to sea. Fasting, body's puff up and they get very dehydrated and grumpy.

May – June
  • Birds return to sea for 2 -3 weeks to re-establish body weight 1000 – 1200g.

  • Penguins start nest building for the up coming breeding season.

  • Growth of chicks 40g to 1kg in 4-5 weeks; this is equivalent a 2.5kg baby growing to 75kg in 2 years.