Fun Banded Penguin Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Banded Penguin Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

A banded penguin is a group of penguins that consists of four extant species under it all of which belong to the genus Spheniscus. These four species are namely, Galapagos, African, Humboldt, and Magellanic penguin and they have similar body patterns and coloration. They are also called jack-ass penguins since they have loud locator-like calls similar to the braying of a donkey. A black-colored band runs throughout the dorsal side of their body, hence are called the banded penguins. The beak looks black and under their eyes, they have a pinkish or whitish fluffy sac-like gland. Apart from the Galapagos, African, Humboldt, and Magellanic penguins, there are also some extinct members of the genus Spheniscus. To learn some banded penguins' facts, keep on reading these banded penguin facts.

For similar content check out Hudsonian godwit and marbled godwit facts too.

Fun Banded Penguin Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small fish

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

5-14.3 lb (2.2-6.5 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

19-30 in (49-76 cm)

What do they look like?

Black and white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Competition And Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Sea And Coasts


Africa, South America , Galapagos









Banded Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a banded penguin?

Banded penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is a group of penguins that consists of four extant species of the genus Spheniscus.

What class of animal does a banded penguin belong to?

The banded penguin belongs to the class Aves.

How many banded penguins are there in the world?

There are four species of penguins called banded penguins (Spheniscus demersus). They are present in different parts of the world. Among all the species of banded penguins, the population of the Magellanic penguins is believed to be the highest. It is estimated that the global population of this species stands at 1.1-1.6 breeding pairs which equate to a total of 2.2-3.2 million individuals. The population trend of the Magellanic penguins is difficult to determine as extreme fluctuations have been noticed in their population, all over the range. The African, Humboldt, and the Galapagos population, unfortunately, failed to keep up with the numbers of Magellanic species. All three species are threatened to some extent in their range. In 2000, there were approximately 150,000–180,000  mature individuals of the African penguins left in the world, which decreased to 40,000 by 2020. The Galapagos penguin's population became almost half of what existed during the '70s and '80s. In 2009, the total number of these penguins in the world was estimated to be around 1,800-4,700 individuals. The species still continue to decline in number following a steep decline rate, calculated to be as high as 60%. On the other hand, the global population of the Humboldt penguins roughly equates to 23,800 individuals. Humboldt penguins have an extremely fluctuating population. They are also decreasing in number throughout most parts of their range but the rate of decline has not yet hit them as hard as the African and the Galapagos species.  

Where does a banded penguin live?

The four different species of the banded penguin live in different parts of the world. African penguins are endemic to southern Africa while the Galapagos penguin is endemic to the Galapagos island in Ecuador. Humboldt and Magellanic populations extend all over the Pacific and Atlantic coast of South America. The species of Humboldt penguin is found in Peru and Chile and the species of Galapagos penguin resides in Argentina, Chile, and Falkland.  

What is a banded penguin's habitat?

The banded penguins' habitat is essentially located in temperate climate zones. This penguin spends most of their time within the water. However, molting and breeding take place on land. Nests of banded penguins are found in coastal stretches. They prefer to nest on rocky islands in colonies. These species are mostly sedentary and residential in nature, so they come back to their respective nests each year.  

Who do banded penguins live with?

Penguin is normally a gregarious bird that lives by forming groups. They forage in groups containing 25-165 individuals.

How long does a banded penguin live?

The species of banded penguin can live up to 15-20 years old.

How do they reproduce?

There is no particular reproductive season of the jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus), they breed throughout the year with peaks varying according to their native origins. They nest in rock crevices or dig burrows in sand. Penguins form monogamous pairs and return to the same nest on land each year to breed. After breeding, females lay one to two eggs in a single clutch and the eggs are incubated by both the parents. They reach sexual maturity around four to six years old.    

What is their conservation status?

African and Galapagos penguins are listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. Humboldt penguins are listed as Vulnerable while Magellanic penguins are listed as Least Concern.

Banded  Penguin Fun Facts

What do banded penguins look like?

 Incredible Banded Penguin Facts

Banded penguins are mid-sized penguins with a black beak. All four living species of jackass penguins have common physical traits. They have a white belly with distinct spots on them. A black band starts from the dorsal part of the body and runs around their bodies. Due to their similar black band, they are sometimes confused with each other.

How cute are they?

Banded penguins are very adorable and friendly penguins. Humans are very affectionate of their cute nature.  

How do they communicate?

The banded penguin communicates with each other by different types of vocalizations like contact calls, display songs, and agonistic calls. They can be really loud at times. The species of banded penguins are called jack-ass penguins because of their loud locator calls sounding similar to braying. Common traits include donkey-like loud calls.

How big is a banded penguin?

The height of the banded penguin ranges between 49-76 cm (19-30 in).

How fast can a banded penguin move?

The speed of this species of banded penguin has not been determined.

How much does a banded penguin weigh?

The weight of all species of banded penguin ranges between 5-14.3 lb (2.2-6.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male penguin is called a cock and the female is called a hen.

What would you call a baby banded penguin?

A baby penguin is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The banded penguin feeds on small schooling fish like sardine, herring, common hake, squid, and crustaceans.  

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Although penguins are very friendly, they are not meant to be kept as pets.

Did you know...

A former banded penguin species, called Spheniscus predemersus is now placed under a monotypic genus Inguza although formerly they were a part of genus Spheniscus.

Different types of penguin

The four extant species of jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus) are Magellanic penguin,  African penguin, Humboldt penguin, and Galapagos penguin. They do not have any morphological and physiological differences as such and are separated solely based on their areas of occurrence. The African penguin is an endemic species to southern parts of Africa. They breed in 28 localities all over South Africa and Namibia. Traces of the penguin has been recorded as north as Mozambique and Gabon. Galapagos penguins are the northernmost species of the penguin family that are endemic to the Galapagos archipelago. The species breed on the Floreana, Fernandina, Isabela, and Santiago islands of Ecuador. Most of these penguin species are found primarily in the Isabela and Fernandina islands. The Magellanic and the Humboldt species occur in the temperate regions of South America. The breeding grounds of the Magellanic penguins are found throughout the Atlantic and Pacific coast of South America. They populate countries like Chile, Argentina, and Falkland. The population of the Atlantic coasts might migrate to Uruguay and Brazil in the winter however, the pacific population is generally non-migratory. The range of the Humboldt penguins overlaps the range of the Magellanic one in Chile where both the species co-exist, Apart from that, the Humboldt penguin also lives in Peru.

Why are they called jackass penguins?

This penguin species make loud braying sounds like a donkey. For this reason, it is also known as a jackass penguin.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these limpkin facts and common snipe facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable banded penguin coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?