African penguins

We left the city today and drove down to the Cape Peninsula to visit Boulders Beach’s African penguin colony and Cape Point. The last time I had been this close to penguins was in December 2012, when Chris took me to Phillip Island to see the fairy penguins flock from the ocean to the land. Fairy penguins are much smaller than African penguins; African penguins can grow to be about 2-2.5 feet tall, whereas fairy penguins average about a foot.

We encountered a bit of a sand and wind storm when we got to Boulders Beach, as sand was flying literally everywhere. But that did not deter the penguins, who all sat around the beach, some hiding between rocks, and others digging holes for their burrows. Some of the penguins even were attempting to mate, but unfortunately as is the case with African penguins, female penguins need to “accept” the male penguin to then begin the process; there’s no rape here. That led to some awkward penguin watching.

It’s also moulting season for the penguins, so many of them had unruly, fluffed up feathers and looked like they needed a bit of a haircut and smoothing out to do. I’ve always loved birds, and I especially love penguins because of how they waddle and flap their wings. They’re such beautiful creatures, and it’s amazing to me how Phillip Island and Boulders Beach makes it so easy for human beings to enjoy seeing these animals in their natural habitat. I felt so lucky to be able to see them today with my own eyes.


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