Sunday, December 21, 2014

Penguins at Boulders

Penguins are great to watch. I had seen penguins before in Patagonia, the Galapagos penguins at the equator, and of course last year in New Zealand (see link below).
The natural habitat of penguins ("flightless marine birds of the family Spheniscidae") is the Southern hemisphere. Ice bears are limited to the Northern hemisphere. That's the reason ice bears don't feed on penguins. The small penguins often feed on krill, but the cape penguins that I'm going to show feed more on suid, cuttlefish, small fish like anchovis.
Boulders is a small community near Simon's Town, which is the last railway station of the Metro, connecting commuters with Cape Town. Part of the village belongs to the Table Mountain National Park. Penguins attract tourists, much to the dismay of residents. The penguins come to the beach to breed there. I must say that its much easier to watch there than at the places I went in New Zealand. The scientific name of these penguins is Spheniscus demersus. The colony started with two pairs in 1982, and now there are about 2200.
1910 the number of penguins had been estimated at around 1.5 million individuals. During the past years the estimation lies around 150,000 birds. And this puts the cape penguin on the list of endangered species.
There are plastic nests in the bush, but I didn't see any breeding. I've been surprised, because last year in New Zealand they were already breeding.

The shore at Boulders

Penguins on a boulder near Boulders

You can see both communities at Boulders -: 
humans and penguines


No comments:

Post a Comment