Twigs and rocks aren’t for breaking nose if you’re a penguin. They represent love. Twigs adorn the nests where they raise their kids, and rocks serve as heartfelt gifts from one penguin to another. Many penguins’ breeds meet and mate in wildly varying climates worldwide, but they all share the same goal: making more penguins.
Here is how penguins behave in love.
How does penguin’s love begin?
Humans give chocolates and flowers when wooing a woman. Penguins give stones. Not just any rocks, though — male penguins search through piles of pebbles to locate the softest, smoothest ones. When a penguin has chosen his pebble, he gifts it to his proposed companion. If she agrees, she puts the rock in her nest, and the two are well on their way to becoming daddy and mommy birds. Pebbles are so vital to the penguins that males often battle over the most beautiful selections.
The Marriage and Honeymoon:
Penguins don’t require candles and melodic music to set the love on fire. They mate in some of the harshest conditions in the world. Emperor penguins get their groove on during winter in Antarctica, trekking inland on solid ice. The wintertime is so severe, at more than 40 degrees below zero, that parents have to rest the eggs on their feet regularly, so they don’t freeze. Humboldt penguins have the ickiest place to mate. They breed in holes sometimes made of guano, aka poop. Ouch.
Housing a Home:
In the rainforests of New Zealand, The Fiordland species has a relatively posh baby-making environment. Its birds grow in caves or under rocks in nests of grass and scavenged sticks. Macaroni penguins aren’t picky about where they set up camp. Most forks out a simple nest, but many lay their eggs on a flat rock. Sadly, one of the two eggs each mother lays dies.
Penguins love to take a shower, mainly with each other. They will race to get to the pool first. Sometimes a delightful swim makes them jump for joy. Indeed, the couple which bathes together stays together.
Like us, penguins share in the feeding, nurturing, and parenting of their kids. It’s striking how penguins show that protecting, birthing, and raising a kid is a shared responsibility of both the father and the mother.
The Wait Game
True love waits. Penguin breeds including chinstrap, Gentoo, and Adelie mate with the same spouse year after year. If a partner doesn’t show up, they wait for some time before moving on.
Nature is wonderful. I miss my penguin as I finish this piece.