The African Penguin is a large flightless bird, found right here in False Bay. One of the main African Penguin colonies nestles at Boulders Beach and Seaforth Beach. The penguins swim far out to sea to find their food source – delicious oily sardines and anchovies.
They are a threatened species, classified as vulnerable. Only 10% of their original population still exist making this a low 179,000 individuals left. These penguins eat sardines/pilchards, anchovies, squid, crustaceans. When they are hunting, they can reach speed up to 20km/h and often dive up to 30m deep.
Did you know that African Penguins live up to 20 years of age? They start breeding from age 4 years or so. They are monogamous, staying together with their mate for life. African penguins nest all year – the peak breeding season in South Africa is from March to May. They nest in burrows or under boulders or bushes.
Making Conservation Connections
Earth Kids are grateful for friend and colleague, Terry Corr, environmental educator and marine specialist, for making them so aware about the Penguin and its plight. The kids have re-visited Terry to record his beliefs behind the plummeting numbers of penguins in Simonstown. Every visit brings the pleasure of seeing these tiny, flightless birds on the rocks and beach as they enjoy life to the full.
Check out Shark Warrior Adventures to find out more about Terry and his kayaking adventures. He is also the hero for AfriOceans and teaches under-privileged kids how to snorkel in the kelp.
The penguins also hang out at Windmill Beach. And at Windmill Beach, there is a huge old historical cypress which died due to a water issue (or so people guess). Earth Kids filmed the tree to highlight a case of environmental neglect, by people of course. The film was later aired on a Chinese news channel.