Birdland’s King Penguin Chick has started to grow its first adult feathers. The little chick is beginning to lose its brown fluffy feathers and replacing them with the black and white adult plumage. Little chick’s coat will be paler than its family until it reaches its third year.
The King Penguin Chick is currently spending the day times in Penguin Shore, home to Humboldt Penguins and the UK’s only breeding colony of King Penguins, before being put to bed at night to keep it safe and warm.
The chick, which hatched on 29th September at the Cotswold attraction, has been hand-reared by Head Keeper Alistair Keen.
Head Keeper, Alistair Keen, says: “Although the King Penguin chick is beginning to gain its adult feathers the chick is still too young to swim, go in with the main colony and determine its sex.
He continues: “Little chick is still dependent on me for feeding, and we make sure to put it away to bed every night for warmth and safety.”
The chick will be 4 – 5 months old when its full adult plumage comes through, leaving it looking a little odd with both baby and adults feathers.
Visitors can see the King Penguin colony up close and learn more about the chick, its parents and little chick’s extended family during the twice daily penguin feeds and talks at 11am and 2.30pm.
Photograph courtesy of Phil Yeomans – BNPS