Chick Season at the Afican Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary

November 16, 2016 Anwynn Louw

It’s that time of the year again. The APSS team in conjunction with CapeNature removed abandoned penguin chicks from Dyer Island. So, why take penguin chicks away from the island? Well each year the African penguin goes through a molting process, which takes place after the breeding season.

Molting is a phase whereby adult penguins shed old feathers. As the new feathers are not yet waterproof, a process which takes about 20 days, the penguins are unable to swim and cannot hunt for food. If there has is an overlap of breeding and the molting process starting , the adult penguins abandon their chicks, before they are fully fledged. These chicks would perish due to starvation. With the population considered endangered, every bird counts, and so we step in to feed and strengthen these chicks to help rebuild the population. Once they have reached the required weight and ready for the big blue we release them back on Dyer Island.

We currently have 39 chicks and 11 adults at APSS. We are open every day and have feeding times that can be observed every day at 9h00 and 15h00.

The African penguin is facing extinction in the wild. NOT ON OUR WATCH! Because #EveryBirdCounts no abandoned chicks are left to starve.

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