What Color are Penguins?

The most adorable birds on earth are the penguins. The black and white color on their body is commonly found in almost all the species of penguins. But, there is some distinct coloration along with the black and white body respective to the species.

Penguins are mostly found in the Southern hemisphere and one species in the Galapagos Islands live on the equator. Not every penguin live in the cold temperature, some species also live in temperate regions. Their color, features, and characteristics vary from region and species.

Many matured penguins have a black back and white front. The fairy penguins also called as little and blue penguins have blue coloration instead of black. The significantly discriminated species of penguins can be the rockhopper and the macaroni penguins. The yellow or orange feathers over their eyes make them stand distinct from other penguins.

The advantage of the black and white body:

The black upper body of the penguins appears like a portion of the deep ocean when the predators look at them. When the predators look from below the white body appears to be like a mixture of the sky. The predators like leopard seal and orcas get confused because of the black and white coloration which acts as a camouflage.

The chicks also have a distinct look that is quite far from the adult penguins. The coloration depends on the species. Mostly the colors of the chicks are brown or grey. As all the adult penguins, the color of the chick is also recognized by the color of the tiny feathers called plumage.

Emperor penguins and a chick

Emperor penguins and a chick

Penguin’s chick color:

Penguin’s chick has an unlike color when compared to the adult penguins. Mostly the color of the penguins may be brown or grey.

Rockhopper Penguin Chick

Rockhopper Penguin Chick

Gentoo penguin color:

Gentoo penguin has an orange bill and white patches over the eyes which spread over the head. The white patches are also found distributed over the head as well as throat. They have pink webbed feet and a long tail.

The chicks of the Gentoo penguins have black and grey combination plumage.

Gentoo penguin with its chick

Gentoo penguin with its chick

Adelie penguin color:

Adelie penguin has a distinctive white ring around the eyes with a black head. The bill of Adelie penguin has brown coloration in the pointed edge. As the Gentoo penguins, the Adelie penguins also have a long tail.

The Adelie chicks are found to be in brown plumage and some appear to be in grey and brown combination.

A colony of Adelie penguins incubating their eggs

A colony of Adelie penguins incubating their eggs

Chinstrap Penguin color:

The chinstrap penguin has a black crown and white face which is different from other penguins. The black line under the chin connects to the crown and the black coloration extended to the beak. As Gentoo and Adelie penguins the chinstrap penguins also have a long tail. The feet of the chinstrap penguins are pinkish.

The chicks of chinstrap penguins have grey plumage. The head and body of the chicks are grey whereas the throat has white coloration.

Chinstrap penguin

Chinstrap penguin

RockhopperPenguin color:

The southern rockhopper has yellow feathers above the eyes. The black plumage sometimes looks like spike lifted up. The southern rockhopper has black head and orange bill.

The chicks of Southern rockhopper have brown plumage with a black head and white front.

Southern rockhopper couple

Southern rockhopper couple

Crested penguin color:

Rockhopper and macaroni penguins come under crested penguins. Both the species are differentiated by the yellow or orange feathers above the eyes.

Macaroni penguin

Macaroni penguin

Yellow-eyed penguin color:

The yellow-eyed penguin has yellow eyes and yellow plumage scattered over the head and we can see a yellow stripe over the head which joins from the eye.

Yellow-eyed penguin’s chicks have brown plumage all over the body.

Yellow eyed penguin

Yellow-eyed penguin

Humboldt and Magellanic color:

The Humboldt and Magellanic penguins are temperate species. Since they live in moderate conditions they have less of feathers and we can find fleshy areas on their face without the presence of plumage. They also have black stripe and dots on their body.

The chicks of these species have brown plumage with white face and belly. The brown plumage extends from the head to the throat and chest.

Humboldt penguin colony

Humboldt penguin colony

Little penguin color:

Little penguin has a blue plumage and that is why it is also called blue penguins. They are also called fairy penguins. The little penguins are most commonly found in Australia.

The chicks of the little penguins have brown plumage.

Group of little penguin

Group of little penguin

Emperor penguin color:

Emperor penguin has a beautiful extensive yellow patch on each side of the head with a black head, chin, and throat.

The chicks of the emperor penguins have grey plumage over the body. The cute chicks have a white face and black plumage from the bill to the head and it extends to the thin stripe around the throat.

Emperor Penguins

Emperor Penguins

King penguin color:

King penguin has bright orange patches on each side of the head and the bill. Also, the orange color is seen scattered below the throat.

The king penguin chicks are found to be with brown plumage all over with no additional coloration.

King penguins and group of young ones

King penguins and group of young ones

Molting Penguins color:

Every species of penguins undergo the molting process. The molting season is nothing but the period in which the penguins shed their old feathers and grow the new ones. During this process, the penguins look scruffy with the patches of lost old feathers with tiny new plumage.

The chicks go through their first molting process when nearing two years old. After their first molting, they transform into an adult penguin.

Molting penguin

Molting penguin

 

Conclusion:

The black back and head help to find the penguins on the icy white land. Even though the penguins are of the same species in a colony, their vocal varies from each other. They find their partners and chicks with their unique calls.

The colorations of the penguins are a remarkable beauty of marine wildlife. The age of the penguins also matters for the color and brightness. The penguins look phenomenal on the land and also in the ocean.

References:

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David
 

I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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