Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)

Adelie Penguin

[order] SPHENISCIFORMES | [family] Spheniscidae | [latin] Pygoscelis adeliae | [UK] Adelie Penguin | [FR] Manchot d’Adelie | [DE] Adeliepinguin | [ES] pinguino de Adelia or de ojo blanco | [NL] Adelie-pinguin


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

The Adelie has a black head. Distinctive white eye rings appear during the breeding season.

Listen to the sound of Adelie Penguin

[audio: Penguin.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: cm size max.: cm
incubation min.: 30 days incubation max.: 43 days
fledging min.: 50 days fledging max.: 56 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 2  


Southern Ocean, Antarctica : widespread. All 17 species of penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere


Adelies often nest 50 to 60 km from the edge of the sea ice on the antarctic continent and nearby on rocky islands, peninsulas, beaches, hillsides, valleys, and other areas free of ice.


The pair share responsibility for the young, taking turns incubating the eggs and brooding the chicks while the other feeds at sea. Form crowded breeding colonies of up to a quarter of a million birds stretch over rocky coastal slopes. Lays 2 eggs, incubated in about 35 days, young fledge after about 53 days. Adelies build nests of small stones. They are known to take stones from other Adelie nests. A penguin returning to the nest sometimes brings its mate a stone as a courtship gesture.

Feeding habits

Crustaceans (amphipods and krill); some fish and squid


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Adelie Penguin status Least Concern


Dwell between sea and colony.

Distribution map

Adelie Penguin distribution range map

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