Different and Beautiful Penguin Colors

Penguins are one of the cutest birds on earth. All penguin species have black and white coloring on their bodies. However, some penguin colors are different and each species has some distinct coloration in addition to the black and white body.

In the Southern hemisphere, penguins are most common; in the Galapagos Islands, one species lives on the equator. Not all penguin species live in cold climates, some also live in temperate climates. The color, features, and characteristics of these animals vary from region to region and species to species.

In many mature penguins, the back is black and the front is white. Fairy penguins, also known as little penguins and blue penguins, have blue plumage instead of black. There are two penguin species that are significantly discriminated against: the rockhopper and the macaroni. The yellow or orange feathers over their eyes make them stand distinct from other penguins.

The Advantage of the Black and White Body

Penguins’ black upper bodies appear as if they’re part of the deep ocean to predators. In predators’ eyes, the white body appears like a mixture of the sky. The black and white coloration confuses predators like leopard seals and orcas, as it acts as a camouflage.

Also, the chicks look quite different from the adults. Species differ in their coloration. In most cases, chicks are brown or gray in color. Chicks are also identified by their plumage, which is the color of their tiny feathers.

Penguin’s Chick Colors

Penguin chicks have a different color than adult penguins. Mostly the color of the penguins may be brown or gray.

Gentoo Penguin Colors

Gentoo penguins have an orange bill and white patches over their eyes. There are also white patches on the head and throat. Pink webbed feet and a long tail are on their feet.

Gentoo penguin chicks have a black and gray combination of plumage.

Adelie Penguin Colors

There is a distinctive white ring around Adelie penguin’s eyes, along with a black head. The pointed edge of the bill of Adelie penguins is brown in color. Adelie penguins also have long tails, like Gentoo penguins.

Some of the Adelie chicks are found with brown plumage, and some appear to have gray and brown plumage.

Chinstrap Penguin Colors

Unlike other penguins, the chinstrap penguin has a black crown and white face. There is a black line under the chin that connects to the crown, and the black coloration extends to the beak as well. The chinstrap penguin also has a long tail like the Gentoo and Adelie penguins. Chinstrap penguins have pinkish feet.

Chinstrap penguin chicks have gray plumage. The chicks’ heads and bodies are gray, while their throats are white.

Rockhopper Penguin Colors

There are yellow feathers above the eyes of the southern rockhopper. Black plumage can sometimes resemble spikes. A southern rockhopper has an orange bill and a black head.

Chicks of Southern rockhoppers have brown plumage with a black head and white front.

Crested Penguin Colors

Penguins like rockhoppers and macaroni penguins belong to the crested penguin family. Both the species are differentiated by the yellow or orange feathers above the eyes.

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colors

We can see a yellow stripe over the head that joins the yellow eyes of the yellow-eyed penguin. Yellow eyes and yellow plumage cover the yellow-eyed penguin’s head.

Yellow-eyed penguin’s chicks have brown plumage all over the body.

Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins Color

Temperate climates are home to Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. They live in moderate conditions, so they have less feathers, and their faces are fleshy without plumage. Their bodies also have black stripes and dots.

Their chicks have brown plumage and a white face and belly. Brown plumage covers the head, throat, and chest.

Little Penguins Color

Blue penguins are also called little penguins because of their blue plumage. They are also known as fairy penguins. Australia is the most common place to find little penguins.

Brown plumage covers the chicks of the little penguins.

Emperor Penguin Colors

There is an extensive yellow patch on each side of the head, along with a black head, chin, and throat on the Emperor penguin.

Chicks of emperor penguins have gray plumage all over their bodies. Their faces are white and they have a thin stripe around their throat. The bill is black, as is the plumage from the head to the bill.

King Penguin Colors

King penguins have orange patches on their heads and bills. Below the throat, orange color is also visible.

King penguin chicks have brown plumage all over with no additional coloration.

Molting Penguins Color

There is a molting process in every species of penguin. Molting is the process by which penguins shed their old feathers and grow new ones. It is during this phase that the penguins look scruffy due to the patches of missing old feathers and tiny patches of new feathers.

A chick’s first molting occurs when it is close to two years old. When they molt for the first time, they become an adult penguin.


Penguins on the icy white land are easier to find because of their black backs and heads. Although penguins in a colony are of the same species, their vocalizations vary. Their unique calls help them find their partners and chicks.

The penguin’s coloration is one of the most beautiful aspects of marine life. It is also important to consider the age of the penguins when it comes to color and brightness. The penguins look amazing in the water and on land.

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This is Zahra. I'm in love with different languages and colors. So I decided to be the messenger of the world of colors! Here in Dopely, I write about colors and I like to take you to their world with me.

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