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Breeding pairs in the wild dig burrows in guano or sand, or build nests under bushes and boulders, but past guano collection by people has made suitable burrow territory harder to come by.Conservation efforts in Africa include ongoing monitoring of population trends, and introducing artificial nesting structures.Head-Shaking and Bowing These behaviors begin during courtship when a new couple is getting to know one another.Throughout their relationships, which can last a lifetime, partners will continue to bow and shake their heads at one another to reinforce their bond.Water and air temperatures in the exhibit also change to mimic natural seasonal cycles.Though the Academy's penguin colony is healthy and growing, their wild relatives aren't faring as well.You can watch our penguins exhibiting this behavior when walking on land and approaching a nest box.
By moving in this manner, the penguin signals to other birds that it is not a threat and need not be pecked.
This behavior is called preening, and can be done while swimming or on land.
Penguins have an oil gland at the base of their tail, and nip at it to transfer the oil to their beak, so they can apply it to the rest of their body.
This display is most frequently seen and heard when a penguin has wandered into another’s territory.
It communicates territory ownership, identifies the penguin (each bird’s bray is unique) and often draws the mate back to their territory.
Based on major population declines (at least 90 percent over the 20th century), African penguins were designated as an endangered species in September 2010 by the IUCN and the USFWS.