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Penguin Breeding Season Begins at Edinburgh Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 6, 2021 12:30 am

gentoo penguin nesting season Edinburgh Zoo

A gentoo penguin inspects the available pebbles to build its nest with

Photo Credit: RZSS

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have shared images of their gentoo penguin colony at Edinburgh Zoo as they begin to form their nests as breeding season begins.

Edinburgh Zoo are home to 100 individual penguins across three species. These are the rockhopper, king and gentoo penguin.

Gentoo penguins form their nest from pebbles. Recently keepers placed the nesting rings and pebbles which will be used to make their nests in the exhibit.

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Later this month the female penguins will have laid their eggs and if any eggs are fertile the chicks should hatch in late April or May.

Dawn Nicoll, senior animal keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Penguin breeding season is the most exciting time at the zoo, and we are thrilled we have been able to reopen our gates and share this magical time with our visitors once again."

“This year the gentoo penguin nest site can be seen on our live webcams, so people will be able to witness the pebble pinching firsthand, even if they can’t visit us in person."  

“Pebble pinching is a huge part of the breeding season. This is when a penguin sees the most perfect pebble in another couple’s nest and decides to take it back to their own nest. However, it remains a happy environment and it’s amazing to watch them couple up and choose their nest rings together.” 

gentoo penguin nesting season Edinburgh Zoo

The gentoo penguins at Edinburgh Zoo in their nests

Photo Credit: RZSS

Edinburgh Zoo has the largest outdoor penguin pool in Europe where the animals can be seen swimming.

Currently the rockhopper penguins have moved in to their own area where they will be able to breed.

You can watch the penguins going about their breeding behaviors on the zoos free live webcams – Edinburgh Zoo Penguin Cam

gentoo penguin nesting season Edinburgh Zoo

A gentoo penguin inspects the available pebbles to build its nest with

Photo Credit: RZSS

Learn more about Gentoo Penguins here – Gentoo Penguin Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Edinburgh Zoo on their website – Edinburgh Zoo

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