Home Safari – Penguin – Cincinnati Zoo
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Home Safari – Penguin – Cincinnati Zoo

March 24, 2020

hey guys welcome to another Home Safari at the Cincinnati Zoo my name’s Cody the head keeper’s here at the Wings of Wonder bird house I’m inside the polar exhibit we’re inside with 3 species of penguins cool stuff pushing this guy right here
this is probably my favorite bird he’s what I like to call a bro he is
named Burger he is a king penguin they’ve got really awesome
filtered water so it’s really clean in here maybe must have healthcare in mind so these guys have twice the life expectancy so Burger’s kind of our elder statesman of the exhibit we also have a
few of our Magallanic Penguins hanging out with us too
this is Ben, Jerry and then we also have Rock Hoppers in here this one’s hopping that
so again three species in this exhibit we also have two other penguin species
here at the zoo we have the little penguins which is also called the fairy penguin from Australia New Zealand We also have the African penguin we’re getting ready to start our
breeding season if you look at our King penguins over here some of the king penguins looking a
little shaggy compared to the others so the two on the farthest let me introduce
you to our Kings so the Kings are the big ones in the exhibits so all the way
on the far side all the way furthest away from us that’s Larry right beside
Larry we’re in a green bracelet as BB then you got Stacy Martin Luther it’s really loud in here again
rockhoppers now those two have kind of picked their little spot over there yes so we’re going through I’m not going
to talk over that yeah so here we go over on the far side those birds are
going through molt all of our kings are going into molt so basically they eat a
bunch of food their bodyweight swells up they get really really large in their
their new feathers grow underneath the old ones giving those two on the far
side given that shaggy looking appearance so those are all the old
feathers they’re basically falling out and the new feather comes in underneath it that is what we call a catastrophic molt whereas other bird species like
Bubba over here those birds dropping feathers all the
time penguins do it in a two week time period it’s like they know we’re filming in
here they’re like let’s just be loud let go really really cool those we’re going
through molt this is that one of the beginning stages of our breeding season
for our Kings so after the Kings go through molt they’re going to go right
into breeding season which we’re going to have a fun activity for you guys at
home that check the link at the end of this episode to check that activity out
talk a little bit more about it here in a few but really really cool stuff with
the breeding season coming up we’ve already started seeing Birds pairing up
one of the things I’m excited for with those two birds on the far side they’re
historic together so that’s a really really good news for us they’re going to
pair up hopefully reproduce again this year it’s
been a few years since we’ve got a king chick so we’re all really excited here
in the bird house I see some of the rock coppers over there moving around those
guys they’re gonna be going to the breeding season soon the guys over there
making a ton of racket those two are a historic pair for us they’ve got a nice
little site over there I might try to discourage that I don’t really like that
site it’s down low on the ground the Kings are gonna walk by and there’s a
little bit of altercation so speaking of altercation it gets even louder than
this hard to believe but yeah it’s really stressful during breeding season
I like to equate it to it’s as stressful was like Days of Our Lives and the TV
show it’s breeding season everybody’s a little edgy with everybody there’s lots
of drama we have to come in and kind of monitor everything and all the birds try
to beat us up as well because they all think we’re trying to steal their
girlfriends and that’s not what we do here we’re not stealing anybody’s
girlfriend so yeah if you guys have questions feel free to shoot them out
we’ll do our best to get to those questions sometimes there’s an awful lot
of them and it’s kind of hard to go through all but yeah there’s a lot of
really good stuff going on again the three species in here Kings being the
big ones rockhoppers kind of hanging out above
them hopefully this rockhopperr jumps the gap there just to show you that
jumping ability cool and of course now they’re going to
turn around excellent question penguins do have knees and they are
right where you think they are up in the body so what you’re seeing down low it’s really loud in here I love it I
think it’s great are penguins as loud as truck horns yeah I think so
we you know the funny thing in here we do have hearing protection guidelines as
you can see it’s a really really loud if we’re in here for an extended period of
time one of our safety things as to wear
earplugs what do penguins eat great question so here at the zoo
we feed 11 different types of fish some of the stuff eating out in this exhibit
a fish called silversides feeding out herring or feeding out atlantic herring
and cod bait herring we sometimes feed out capelin we sometimes feed off
mackerel we also feed out trout which is a new fish for us for this really high
in fat that’s the big thing thing was need they need a very high fat diet and
because they’re spending a lot of time swimming they’re burning a lot of
calories in the water so they need a lots and lots of calories every day do
penguins have tongues penguins do have tongues and one of the crazy things about
penguins tongues their tongues have barbs on them with their tongues I was hoping he would
kind of open his mouth a little bit because he just wants to kind of hang
out with us he wants to breathe my leg that’s fine that’s special but their
tongues they had all these tiny little barbs in their tongue also on the roof
of their mouth and basically that acts like a fishhook when they bite into a
fish and the fish tries to back out of their mouth goes barb off towards the
back of the throat and that basically makes sure that the fish does not get
away from them this is Jerry he’s looking really pretty right now look at
he’s like strutting around like he owns the place do they fly they do not fly I
like to say they fly underwater the bones in their
flippers and their wings that keeps them from being able to fold them all the way
up against their body but it does give them a nice stable platform so they’re
very very efficient the water you look at their body shape this is what we call
fusiform so your round in the middle your chambered at the head you’re
tapered at the tail basically it’s kind of like a football so a football is
aerodynamic a penguin is what we call hydrodynamic because they’re spending
all that time in the water how long can they be in the water how
long in the water soak in their natural habitats they would spend about 75 percent of their lifetime swimming live fish in the pool this time of the
day they’re kind of like slowing down but they do spend a lot of time in the
water when it comes to swimming underwater most penguins spend about 30
seconds to two minutes in the top thanks to the water Hey wanna go for a swim
Hey look at the enrichment over here ready he’s like another tag yeah so if
you look so he’s got this nice yellow bracelet if you look all of our other
birds in the exhibit you’ll notice everybody has a bracelet that is just an
identification tag for us kind of like a name tag so if you look everybody’s got
this nice nametag said that lets me know who’s who
so every single bird that you see has that that little plastic zip tie and
then also they each have their own individual number I can go to our
computer system and bring up all the information about each one of these
animals every animal has their own medical file every animal has their own
file of everything that we observed throughout our day so a lot of being a
zookeeper is basically just taking notes and doing paperwork one of the glamorous
sides of our job that people don’t even think about we hose a lot of poop and we
take a lot of notes so a lot of good stuff being a zookeeper but again
everybody individually and that’s how we know who’s who that’s
going to depend on the species so king penguins can go up to 20 years in their
natural habitat these little rock operas about 10 to 12 in their natural habitat
the cool thing though is everybody in a zoo setting if you’re a penguin can
double their natural life expectancy so again our boy Burger over here that’s
standing high behind you guys Burger here is 37 so he is almost doubled his
actual life expectancy he’s got a pretty sweet gig going on here at the zoo or is
that great to dish it out yeah it’s a pretty comfortable life living at the zoo is very stress free I think Burger’s my favorite penguin
that Jerry’s like all in your lap right now what about their name so get this guy’s
name Burger King we have Larry BB Coretta Scott and Martin Luther I bet most people on there don’t
know who Stacy King is I would give you a virtual high five if you know who Stacy King is the black banded king penguin standing right in the middle
probably the tallest one standing over there Stacy king I named her and it’s a
pretty interesting King name if anybody’s a basketball fan out there wackiest personality I would say one of
our rockhoppers I’m trying to see where he’s at but the guy at the food plate over there we do
have a food station we were there that – how many kinds of penguins do you have
do we have here at the zoo we are really lucky here in Cincinnati we have five
species total out of the 17 so the three that are in here again the Magellanic King
and the Rockhopper then also the little blues and the African penguins so in
this exhibit is just the three eating those brand new exhibits built right now
so hopefully those open this summer and right now we’re still on track for that
but yeah a lot of uncertainty with that you’re still around
so really excited for the for those new exhibits when when penguins have an egg who takes
care of the egg so with all penguin species with the
exception of the emperor penguin all Penguin species when it comes to egg care
males and females both take care of the egg with the emperor penguin that is
the only species that the male does the entire incubation so with our king
penguins they are very similar to Emperor’s they look very very close
they’re closely related same genus what they do they don’t build a nest
just like it refers they do everything on their feet which again you click the
link at the end of this Home Safari or homework for you guys is to do this
awesome penguin activity where you’re going to pretend that you’re incubating
today so you’re going to take any sort of item that you have like a football or
a pillow or stuffed animal any sort of cool thing you’re going to try to
incubate that on your feet again the description is in the link so check that
out it’s going to be really cool and we’re super excited to see videos and
photos from you guys trying to recreate that and see who’s a good incubator out
there and who’s not so yeah that’s going to be happening the breeding season in
here is going to be happening once everybody goes to molt so those two that
are farther along than everybody else those are the two that we want to mate
everybody the same timeframe but sometimes when they molt just a little
bit off they start breeding season without each other those two have reproduced in the past for us liked them to reproduce again at the
exact same time so we get really excited last year was a good year
for us we had three eggs laid to this exhibit for our Kings we had three eggs laid
one of which was fertile two were infertile but still three eggs for us was a big deal
it’s been a while since we’ve had a king chick Bailey wants to know if it’s normal for
us several different species to live together yeah that’s a great question so
cool thing about our exhibit is we are showcasing this pretty wide range of area a sub Antarctic island off the coast of South America is what we’re recreating down off the coast of South America so all of these species
could be traveling the same natural habitat but it would be just a little
different parts of that habitat the kings would be on your flat rockier areas rockhoppers up on the cliffs in the rocky spaces so great question
you see Burger again and again he’s he’s my favorite bird he’s a pretty cool guy
he’s kind of earned the right to do whatever he wants to be exhibit since
he’s 37 again use the oldest king penguin in North America how do you
penguins know how to be their parents so the interesting thing with
penguins is a lot of times they don’t know who their parents are there isn’t a
family structure with penguins so the Penguins that the parents will
raise the baby the baby goes out to sea for its first time they will come back
to the same area but they don’t recognize their parents they don’t have
any sort of like family reunion in their natural habitat so they even here
there’s not really any sort of like family grouping it’s just a colony
grouping so everybody wants to be him but there isn’t any sort of like family
structure that you can see and like say some of the animated movies do penguins
have teeth penguins do not have teeth because penguins are birds and birds do
not have teeth do penguins hold their breath underwater they do hold their
breath just like we do yeah so again penguins are holding their breath on
average about 30 seconds the longest recorded penguin dive was around 21 minutes
that was an emperor penguin that’s way longer than us humans good questions I
like it how do you know if an egg is fertile so one of the things we do here
in the zoo we we know who’s really good at incubating and who is not
sometimes we have to pull the eggs out from underneath the parents and give
them a fake egg and then we can take the egg down to our bird house incubation
room and we have a thing that’s called a Candler it’s basically a super bright
flashlight once the egg has passed a certain certain length of time and
incubation you can see if this bird or not I just did some handling this
morning on some other eggs so a lot of stuff going on here at the Zoo alright
so again guys definitely click the link and check out the activity your homework
for this Home Safari and keep tuning in again every day at 3 o’clock to see
these other Home Safaris we’ve got a lot of animals here at the zoo so there’s a
lot of cool activities coming your way so definitely check it out and thanks
for hanging out with us checking out all these awesome penguins and you guys all
good to each other out there have a great day

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