The 2013 Gentoo Penguin breeding season has begun at Melbourne Aquarium this week as bird keepers place nests into the Antarctica exhibit.
The 11 new nests consisting of small pebbles are proving to be hit with the Gentoo colony, with many of the penguins already pairing up and courting.
These black and white love birds have a truly romantic courting behaviour involving bowing to each other and singing, however, attitudes can turn icy during breeding season when males steal pebbles from neighbouring nests to ensure theirs is the most attractive to the female birds.
Sarina Walsh, Bird Manager at Melbourne Aquarium says the nests are placed into the exhibit to provide an area for the birds to build a nest.
“We scatter nest rocks all around the exhibit and the birds present them to their partner and together they build the nest,” she said.
Melbourne Aquarium Penguin Breeding Program
“The Gentoo Penguin breeding program at Melbourne Aquarium is among the most successful in the world and we look forward to hopefully welcoming the arrival of some fluffy new members later this year.”
Visitors can check out the happy couples on the ice in Melbourne Aquarium’s Antarctica exhibit, one of 12 new amazing zones of discovery set to reopen as part of the refurbishment to become the all-new SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium in September!