I finally got my act together and will be publishing a series of articles about my vacation to Cape Town, South Africa over the next couple of days. This is the first.
I'm a big fan of penguins so one of the things that I really wanted to see was Boulder's Bay. It's nestled between Simon's Town and Cape Point and has become world famous for its thriving colony of African Penguins and magnificent wind sheltered, safe beaches.
Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment.
From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3000 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the penguin's diet.
If you look closely you can see a baby penguin in the picture below. They dig holes as nests and keep their young close at all times.
Some Penguin Facts:
- The African Penguin is listed in the Red Data Book as a vulnerable species.
- Of the 1.5 million African Penguin population estimated in 1910, only some 10% remained at the end of the 20th century. The controlled harvesting of penguin eggs as a source of food nearly drove the species to extinction.
- Because of their donkey like braying sound they were previously named the Jackass Penguin. Since several species of South American penguins produce the same sound, they were renamed African penguins.
- They can swim and average of seven kilometers per hour and can stay submerged for up to two minutes.
- Although, they breed through out the year, the main breeding season starts in February. They are a monogamous species and the lifelong partners take turns to incubate their eggs and to feed their young.
-Info gathered from the South African National Park brocure.