Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)

The Adelie is the most numerous penguin in Antarctica. It stands 60-70 cm tall and weighs about 5.5 kg. Males and females look the same in appearance and have a black head, neck and back, and a white ring around their eyes. They spend the winter on the edge of the sea ice and come onto land in early spring, sometimes having to walk up to 50 kilometers over the ice to reach their nesting ground.

They return to the same colony every year and usually to the same mate. The males arrive first and rebuild the nests. After mating, the female lays two eggs in early November and returns to the sea for 8-15 days while the males incubate the eggs. This means the males fast for about four weeks and lose about half their body weight by the time the females return and take over the incubating duty.


For the rest of the incubation period and after hatching, they take turns to return to the sea to feed for 2-3 days at a time. They bring back fish and krill in their crops which they regurgitate to feed the chicks. (Remember Carol Vleck's comment about how when the chicks are close to independence both parents leave them in a "creche", and finally make it out to sea to feed.)


 • Adélie Penguins
Information on the Adélie penguins including taxonomy.
 • Antarctic Penguins
Images, basic information and the sounds of penguins.
 • Waddling is a good way to make up for short legs
Press release explaining that scientists have discovered that the penquin waddle helps the animal save energy.
 • Life at Sea: At Home in the Ocean
Basic information on penquins, their life at sea, blackfooted penguins in peril and an FAQ on penguins.
 • Nature: The World of Penguins
Information about penguins, how to protect them and how they are so graceful in water.
 • Pete and Barbara's Penguin Pages
Information on penguins including their life cycle, how they are threatened and where to see them.
 • Antarctic Biology
General information on the animals of Antarctica including krill, fish, birds, penguins and seals.
 • Penguins
Basic information on penguins.