Chinstrap Penguins

ChinstrapScientific Name
Pygoscelis antarctica

Distinguishing Features
Chinstrap penguins are white on the front and throat but have black beaks. Their most distinguishing characteristic is the thin black band that runs across the bottom of their throats. Chinstrap chicks have gray backs and white fronts.

Height & Weight
Adults are about 70 to 75cm tall and weigh around 3.5 to 5kg.

Breeding & Population
Chinstraps breed on the sub-Antarctic islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula. Overall, there are about 780 known colonies which are usually very large. Their biggest colony on the South Sandwich Islands are said to contain over 10,000,000 of them. Their total population is estimated to be around 7,500,000 breeding pairs.

Chinstrap penguins build circular nests made of stones which are typically 40cm in diameter and up to 15cm high in the center of the nest. Two eggs and laid and incubated by both parents in shifts of 5 to 10 days. After 33 to 35 days, the eggs will hatch but the chicks will stay in the nests for another 20 to 30 days before joining creches. After 50 to 60 days, the chicks will moult and go out to sea.

Chinstraps mostly eat kill but will also supplement their diet with fish.

Alternate Names
Chinstrap penguins are sometimes known as “Stonecracker Penguins”. This name derives from their shrill call. Other names are “ringed penguin” and “bearded penguin.”


3 responses to “Chinstrap Penguins

  1. leah

    They eat kill? Did you mean krill? I’m pretty sure there isn’t a type of fish called kill. Am I right?

  2. Its krill NOT kill!!!!!!

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