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What Is A Group Of Penguins Called? From Waddle To Tobogganing

Where do penguins live?

Names for groups of animals can be unique and even funny! You’re probably familiar with common group names like a group of crows being a “murder” and a group of lions being a “pride.”

What is a group of penguins called? The common names for a group of penguins are huddle, colonies, and waddle. Continue reading to learn about the different collective nouns for these birds and more!


What Is A Group Of Penguins Called?

Groups of penguins have different names depending on where the penguins are and what they’re doing. The primary term for a group of penguins is a colony.

These are highly social birds. In fact, they’re one of the most social of all bird species. These flightless birds hang out in groups throughout their entire lives.

Every species of penguin forms colonies, and all but 2 species form large colonies of thousands to even millions of birds.

These colonies are complex societies where penguins feed, travel, and nest together. Additional names for a group of penguins include rookeries, raft, and waddle.


Why Is It Called A Waddle?

Everyone associates penguins with waddling. It’s a result of their hydrodynamic adaptations and skeletal anatomy. Their waddle is one of their most endearing traits and notable characteristics. A group of penguins is called a waddle when the penguins are on land and on the move!

Related: What makes penguins birds?

Other collective nouns that are used for groups of penguins include:

  • Colony
  • Rookery
  • Raft
  • Tobogganing

There are certain times of the year when penguins form large groups on land, like during the breeding season. These big groups are called either a colony or rookery. Penguins often return to the same breeding locations and will sometimes visit the same nesting site year after year.

A group of penguins in the water is called a raft. Penguins have a strict diet that only consists of seafood. Because of this diet, they spend a large portion of their life hunting at sea. However, these birds do more than just hunt for food in the water; they also take the time to preen their feathers and rest.

A group of penguins sliding on their stomachs along the ice and using their flippers for propulsion is called tobogganing.


Why Do Penguins Live In Big Groups?

There are a variety of reasons why penguins live in large groups. It’s not uncommon to think that they live in large groups to protect each other from the cold, but that’s not the only reason.

Related: Do penguins live in Alaska?

Certain species of penguins live in warmer climates, so they don’t have to protect themselves from the cold. In fact, they often struggle to keep themselves cool!

Penguins are naturally confined to small habitats and are flightless birds; this combination encourages them to colonize together. Additionally, penguins can’t travel vast distances to get to their nesting sites like birds that can fly. As a result, these birds tend to use the same nesting grounds across generations.

Lastly, penguins live in large groups because they provide protection from predators such as skuas, petrels, and seals.

Chicks have a variety of complex warning calls to alert their parents of predators that could pose a threat; however, it’s usually other penguins that pose the most danger to chicks.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a group of penguins called a waddle?

A group of penguins is called a waddle for a few different reasons. A penguin’s waddle is one of its most distinct characteristics. They waddle when they walk because of their hydrodynamic adaptations and skeletal anatomy. A group of penguins is only called a waddle when the penguins are on land and walking.

Is a group of penguins called a parcel?

Yes, a group of penguins is called a parcel when they’re gathered together in large numbers protecting themselves from the cold and conserving energy.

Is a group of baby penguins called a kindergarten?

No, a group of baby penguins is not called a kindergarten. Instead, a group of baby penguins is called a crèche. A crèche involves baby penguins banding together for safety while their parents are out hunting for food.

Why do penguins live together?

Penguins live together for a variety of reasons, including to protect themselves from predators, conserve energy and warmth, and to increase breeding success. It’s all about them increasing their chances of survival as much as possible.

About the Author

Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for birds and is a hobbyist wildlife photographer based in Central Florida. Her goal is to share everything you need to know about birds so you can get out there, explore, and identify confidently!

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