In late January and February, groups of young born the previous season, spend nearly two weeks on land where moult their pens for first time. These non-breeding birds tend to group together under bushes to escape the heat of the Sun.
All penguins moult once a year and during that time remain on land, without feeding.
Penguins spend much of their time preening and maintaining their plumage, which is very important to maintain the waterproof quality of the plumage.
Males are slightly larger than females and have longer and wider beaks. The male weighs about 4 to 5 kg and is 45 cm tall. They reach sexual maturity at 4 or 5 years for both sexes. Each year in late August, early September males start arriving, then females.
Their relationship with the man
While they do not fear the presence of man, they are not 100% sociable. They tend to run behind people who walk between nests, and if someone gets too close or try to touch them, don’t have any doubt that will receive a painful peck.
Although Penguins are lucky enough for not to possess anything useful to Man, they are adversely affected by Man’s actions, due to over fishing and water pollution, especially with the spillages of oil offshore. Once oiled, penguin’s feathers lose their insulating capacity, so they lose warmth and seek refuge on the beaches, where they die by poisoning caused by ingesting oil whilst attempting to clean their plumage and starvation.
It is therefore very important to generate awareness and for strict legislation regarding transportation and extraction of oil.