5 Things You Need to Know About Penguins on World Penguin Day

Vancouver, BC | Posted: April 24th, 2018

Happy World Penguin Day!

We know you’ve been waiting a full year to celebrate World Penguin Day, because who in the world doesn’t love penguins? World Penguin Day is the perfect day to celebrate these playful, fun-loving animals, but also to draw awareness to important topics like climate change and environmental conservation to protect the natural habitats of our penguin friends.

So in honor of our feathered pals, let’s have a little fun. Here are 5 things you need to know about penguins:

1. They are social butterflies!

penguin rookery

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Penguins are known for being very social. They do everything together, including eating, hunting, swimming and nesting. In Antarctica, penguins huddle together to stay warm from the icy winds.

2. Their relationship status is “complicated.”

Macaroni Penguins

Photo Credit: Unsplash

While some penguins are serial monogamists and mate for life or until their partner dies, others will mate with others even while their partners are alive and in the colony. Some researchers have also observed “cheating” behaviours from males and females while the partner is nesting or raising their young.

3. They use wings to swim!

Penguins swimming

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Penguins are flightless birds, but that doesn’t hold them back from soaring through the seas! Penguins use their wings as strong flippers to swim with ease through the ocean. Most penguins average about 9 km/h in swimming speed, except Gentoo Penguins. These champs can zip through the water at up to 36 km/h. Whaaaaat?!

4. They have an “awkward stage” Every. Single. Year.

Molting Penguin

Photo Credit: Francis C. Franklin

Penguins go through a very, very, awkward stage, similar to me at 13 with my mullet and terrible fashion sense. While most birds lose a few feathers at a time, penguins experience “catastrophic molting,” which means they lose all of their feathers at once. To prepare for molting, they pack on a few pounds to survive the cold.

5. The males give their ladies sweet rocks!

Two penguins celebrating World Penguin Day

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Male Gentoo Penguins, in the most adorable courting style ever, offer the females rocks. If the female accepts the rock (who wouldn’t?!), she will add it to her nest. Seriously, could they get any cuter?

Do you have any fun facts about penguins? Make sure to send us a note over social media, or drop us a line through our contact form!

Also, by supporting our penguin loving travel partners like those listed on our website, you’re actively taking part in responsible tourism and helping to protect wildlife all over the world.

If you’re interested in committing to responsible travel, head over to our KEEPitWILD Pledge page and take the pledge to keep wildlife wild!

Happy World Penguin Day!




Sarah Lafontaine

Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto. Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram @sarahseizetheworld


    Get In Touch With Questions