Penguin Tales: New Year, New Crèche

posted 20 January, 2020 by Jessica Tolzman
Is there any better day to read about your favorite penguin Spiffy other than Penguin Awareness Day? To celebrate this day, we are here to bring you another update on our adopted penguin Spiffy, plus some fun penguin facts!
Since our last penguin update, Spiffy has brought another group of penguin chicks, known as a crèche, into the world! However, that does not mean the struggle of parenting is over for her. Her babies are so small that they only weight about 100 grams and need help from their parents to stay warm. Luckily, penguins have a special pouch on their belly, which is used solely for keeping their chicks warm at all times. Penguin chicks are born with only thread-like feathers that are not very good at keeping them warm. In fact, for the first few days of their lives, they have no way to create or control their body temperature, which makes the parents’ job extremely important.
Spiffy won’t have to act as a heater for long. As soon as her chicks start to grow their fluffy feathers, they can leave their parents for short periods of time, allowing them to explore this new world. It only takes about 50 days for newborn penguins to become fully grown. Talk about a quick growth spurt!
Even though Spiffy does not have to keep her chicks warm all day, she is still responsible for making sure they are fed. Penguin parents take turns leaving the nest to go catch food for their newborn babies. Once they find enough food to not only feed themselves but chicks as well, they hold the fish inside their stomach without digesting it. Penguin parents can prepare the fish in their stomach differently depending on how old their chicks are!
While the chicks are growing, it is also vital for the parents to be able to protect them. Since Spiffy lives on the mainland, it allows predators, such as foxes, access to them. Luckily even though Spiffy may be small, about 76 centimeters, she still packs a punch. Due to her elongated bill, she can fend off any hungry foxes by pecking them away.
The chicks will keep Spiffy busy for about seven to nine weeks, then they are ready to leave their mom’s side and continue their adventure on their own. While Spiffy is busy being a mom, keep yourself busy with some fantastic penguin facts!
  1. Most penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere! Several penguin species spend their days soaking up rays instead of trudging through the snow.
  2. Emperor Penguins are the tallest penguin species, they often reach 4 feet! The Little Blue penguin is the smallest, reaching only about 16 inches.
  3. The fastest penguin is the Gentoo Penguin, who can reach speeds up to 22 miles per hour. That’s almost 4 times faster than Michael Phelps’ top speed of 6 miles per hour!
  4. Penguins actually have knees!
Thanks for reading our latest Spiffy the Penguin update, and stay tuned for more!

Written by Jessica Tolzman

Lover of Jeeps and pugs. World class Spiffy intern.