Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeding Time on Penguin Island

54 Magellanic penguins live on Penguin Island in the San Francisco Zoo


Dailying feeding time at 2:30 PM


"I got my fish, too bad for you two!"


"Hey, where did everyone go? Was I last in line?"


Ever watchful eagle to scare off any opportunistic seagulls.


Fellow blogger, Neva and her son, Eric, met up with me and my photography group at the San Francisco Zoo last weekend. They were visiting from the Chicago area and I asked them to join our outing. How often do you get a chance to meet a fellow blogger?

Around 2:30 PM, tons of visitors hovered over a man-made cement hill called Penguin Island waiting for the penguins to be fed. Five minutes went by, then 15 minutes, then almost 30 minutes later, a man with a huge eagle tethered to him strolled by. This was to scare off all the seagulls waiting to pick off any dropped food the penguins didn't eat. Still, the determined gulls were never far away even under the watchful eagle nearby.

A zookeeper and his assistant eventually came by with a bucket of sardines to feed the penguins one by one. Each penguin has a number attached to its fin and the zookeeper would call out the number for his assistant to track which penguin ate. I don't believe penguins have any teeth so they swallow their fish whole - bones and all. Some of the penguins were quite picky and spit out their fish to wait for another one. I wasn't sure if they were just clumsy or they could sense the fish wasn't fresh.

Happy Friday,
AV

13 comments:

Lara said...

so cute! love penguins!

RuneE said...

I loved your penguins!!! ;-)

NYCindividual said...

great captures!

photowannabe said...

How fun to meet a fellow blogger.
I used to love the penguin attraction. When my boys were in Jr. High they were members of the zoo. We were able to go behind the scenes and actually go into the structure which houses these creatures. It was very cool. The kids said it was pretty smelly and quite noisy.

The Oswegan said...

They were seriously hungry.

Joy said...

Oh my gosh. so cute! The one with the fish looks very happy. Haha.

blindingobvious said...

You got some nice photos of the feeding. A bunch of mine from the penguin feeding turned out a bit fuzzy, I'm still not that good with manual lenses yet. It was amazing seeing the little guys swallow up three whole fish!

Alex

Lynette said...

Interesting post and great photos. I think it's so neat that you got to meet Neva and her son. Wow! And to go on a photography outing--how perfect. Mama's doing pretty well, and Flat Stanley is back in Mississippi. I hope to get a report on his return to first grade soon. Thanks so much for asking.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What a great set of photos of the penguins i think they are so cute how they waddle around.

And how wonderful it must of been to meet each other. I do hope that you got some photos of each other. Would be nice to see you both together.

Jim said...

Great pictures, neat story about the eagle and seagulls.

Josie said...

I love penguins. Omigosh, look at those little guys.

Have you seen "Surf's Up?"

AVCR8TEUR said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Penguins are always fun to watch on land.

Neva said...

I still think that some of those penguins didn't get any fish....quite the unusual system and being there and watching the "eagle land" was a hoot....it did clear out many of those pesky seagulls! You got some nice shots!