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Jackass Penguin or African Penguin

About Jackass Penguin or African Penguin

Medium penguin with blade-shaped bill (larger and deeper in male). The back is black as well as the head and wings. The belly is white running up in a narrowing band onto the head, as far as the base of the bill; they have a black shaped horseshoe on their breast, going down flanks to thighs; some amount of black spots on breast and belly; some white patches on the underwings; legs and bill are black with a pale gray band near the tip; their eyes are dark brown. The juveniles are dark grayishblue at first, turning brown; a face pattern will develop in the second and third year.

Also known as the African penguin, the jackass penguin is called this because of its loud calls, like a donkey braying. These sounds serve as a way of telling where nest sites are to prospective mates.

They spend much of their lives in small groups at sea within 25 miles of the shore. This is where they dive anywhere from 100-300 feet (30m to 90m) down. Most of them leave the colony around dawn and return late afternoon or early evening. Sometimes a few will remain out at sea for the night.

Jackass penguins are in a rapid population decline because people take their eggs on a large scale. Today, laws protect jackass penguin breeding colonies.