Penguins are swimming birds. We can call them sea-birds. They can walk and run but not with such natural ease as they show in swimming and diving.
Penguins are flightless birds. They cannot fly because their wings are shaped as flippers. They use their wings as oars to `raw’ themselves through the sea.
Penguins have black heads, long sharp beaks, white cheats and dark blue backs. Their white fronts and dark blue backs give them the appearance of little men dressed for a party. Their legs are short and set back on their bodies. So these birds are obliged to stand bold upright on their large webbed feet. They have to do so in order to keep their balance. How unlike other birds!
They live in the southern half of the world-on the cool coats of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
A penguin walks in a very funny manner. It looks all round expect in the front. Many a time it falls flat on its stomach. But then immediately it gets up and marches off proudly as though nothing has happened.
Penguins have short wings of flippers. These wings have no feathers, but a sort of scales which also thickly cover their bodies. When penguins are standing, their wings hang at their sides. When they are walking, they move their wings in such a manner that they look like people talking in excitement.
Penguins use their wings for swimming under water, but on land they can use them as their front legs. For a leisurely walk they use their three-inch legs, but for running they go down on all fours – their two legs and two wings.
Penguins have a pocket between their tail and legs. They use it for carrying their eggs. In winter each female lays an egg on the ice. Then both parents help in the hatching of the egg. They take no food during the days of hatching.
Some times they come up to a foot or two of a man. But they resent being picked up. They will scream and strike hard with their wings. However, if penguin is held for a minute or so, it will then calm down and nestle comfortably in your arms. Having made one big effort to get free, the penguin seems to feel that it has done its duty. It leaves the rest up to its fate.
Penguins love to go swimming. On the way they meet many penguins returning to their rookeries. Both parties stop to chat before going further on their way. Like playful children several of the homeward bound return for another swim in the sea