What Long Beaks King Penguins Have

It wasn’t until we saw the King Penguins swimming under the bridge in at Penguin Rock in Edinburgh Zoo that I realised just what long pointy beaks they have.

These are male penguins. Do you see the armbands on their right wings/flippers? There is a European convention that males have the armband on the right and females on the left.

I wondered whether it is the same with ringing on bird’s legs, so I rang the British Trust For Ornithology. The BTO has been going for 101 years and it has a database of bird ringing information, possibly the largest such database in the world.

I learned that there is no convention about on which leg a bird is ringed. However, the ring number contains information about age, sex, where and how the bird was caught and ringed, etc.

So now we know.

One thing, when the BTO put you on hold, the ‘music’ is gentle birdsong. Lovely.

King penguin swimming - viewed from above.
King Penguin
King Penguin Breaking The Surface
King Penguin Breaking The Surface

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