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African Penguin | Spheniscus demersus

The African Penguin is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Spheniscidae bird family group which includes birds such as Penguins.

The description for the African Penguin (Latin name Spheniscus demersus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Spheniscus demersus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 3 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 631. You will find a picture of the African Penguin on page 544.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Jackass Penguin in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Penguin between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Penguin is known in Afrikaans as Brilpikkewyn.

The African Penguin is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The African Penguin has a height of 65 cms and weighs around 3500 gms. The head is coloured black, white while the bill is coloured black. The Spheniscus demersus has a white coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Spheniscus demersus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, white

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Penguin is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

You can see the African Penguin bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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