Europe and Central Asia
28 Apr 2017

The Bird Bulletin - Vol. 5, The Penguin Edition

© Shutterstock
By Gui-Xi Young

Welcome to a very special ‘Penguin’ edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ our new weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we bring you bite-size bird news from across Europe & Central Asia - now you can start every weekend with 'what a little birdie told me'. 


HAPPY FEET – World Penguin Day! On Tuesday, we celebrated everyone’s favourite black and white bird. But how much do YOU know about our fine feathered friends?

VARIETY ACT – Did you know that there are 18 different species of penguins? Can you tell your Royal Penguin from your Macaroni Penguin, or your Northern Rockhopper from your Southern Rockhopper? Here are some fun facts: 

Hot or cold? We associate penguins with Antarctica but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Some species, like the Galapagos Penguin, just love the sun and sand of the tropics.

Size matters not: The iconic Emperor Penguin stands at 122 cm tall – nearly 4 times bigger than the diminutive Little Penguin’s 33 cm. 

Going for gold. Magellanic penguins are Olympic swimmers – they can travel over 170 km in a day and 16,000 km a year!

Hop, skip and a jump – the 60 cm tall Southern Rockhopper is super agile and is named for its habit of hopping up steep cliffs with both feet together.

Spot the difference? African Penguins are easily identified by their white chest and bellies covered in black spots. Each individual’s pattern is completely unique!

Make some noise! The distinctive looking Yellow-eyed Penguin, endemic to New Zealand, is also known as the Hoiho in Maori which means ‘noise maker’.

SLIPPERY SLOPE – Sadly, there is another side to the story. Over half of the world’s penguins are sliding towards extinction. Habitat loss, fishing nets, oil spills are just some of threats that these beautiful birds face every day.

#ProtectAPenguin - With your support, BirdLife International can put its decades of conservation expertise into saving these iconic birds: we will establish new colonies, work with fishermen to prevent penguin bycatch, rescue and rehabilitate penguins in oil spill emergencies, lobby governments to create Marine Protected Areas for safe feeding, protect penguin chicks on land – and so much more.

Click here to become a PENGUIN PROTECTOR!

Well that’s all for our special ‘Penguin’ edition of The Bird Bulletin – tune in next week for more cheeps, chirps and chatter.

Bye Bye Birdies!


Gui-Xi Young, News Editor – BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.