Adelie Penguin

Did you know?

Like all penguins, Adelie Penguins live at sea for most of the year, swimming underwater with the aid of their flipper-like wings to catch fish.

Rhythmic throbbing sound during courting.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Average weight: 
5 000g
Breeding season: 
October to March
36 days
Nestling Period: 
60 days
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Adelie Penguin is a medium-sized penguin of sturdy appearance. The head does not have a crest but the rear of the crown is peaked, which is characteristic of the species. The head and chin are black. The bill is black with a dark red base and tip and appears stubby because it is covered with feathers for half its length. A conspicuous white eye-ring gives the bird a staring appearance. The feet are flesh pink.

Similar species: 

The Chinstrap Penguin, P. antarctica, has a longer bill, and a white face crossed by a thin black line. The Gentoo Penguin, P. papua, is larger (80 cm long) with a black and yellow or orange bill, and a white patch over the top of the head.

Where does it live?

Adelie Penguins are found mainly at sea in southern oceans around the coasts and islands of Antarctica, and only very rarely appear on the Australian coast, in winter.


Adelie Penguins live mainly at sea, generally within the limits of pack-ice.

What does it do?

Adelie Penguins feed mainly on fish, crustaceans, amphipods and cephalopods. They can dive to about 175 m but usually feed up to 70 m below the water's surface.


Adelie Penguins breed in summer, mainly on the rocky platforms of islands of southern oceans. The nests are made out of small stones, and males and females share incubation and care of the young almost equally.

Living with us

Heavy commercial fishing impacts negatively on the food supplies of Adelie Penguins. 

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