January 10, 2023
Penchant for Penguins
- as seen by -Caitlin Mahon
Since starting as a Wild Animal Keeper in the Ornithology Department at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo earlier this year, I’ve become fully involved in a world that I once fantasized about. I was lucky enough to start my journey in the zoo’s Aquatic Bird House, where I’m gladly surrounded by penguins, fish, ibis, fish, puffins and… did I already mention fish?
Penguins are one of those birds that most people have exposure to early on, whether it’s a fluffy plush toy or a character in a cartoon. Most people just have an overall fondness for penguins.
At the Bronx Zoo, we have two species of penguins, the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) that is native to Australia and New Zealand, and the Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) endemic to southern South America.
Both species eat a good deal of fish. Our little blue penguins’ diet consists primarily of capelin, while our Magellanic penguins’ menu is mostly herring (above).
I have always had a penchant for penguins. Working as a keeper has continued to increase my curiosity, fascination, and adoration for these flightless birds.