What Is a Group of Penguins Called?

A group of penguins is called a “colony,” or “rookery.” Penguins are social birds and group together to breed, molt, and rest. Depending on the species and location, a penguin colony can range from a few dozen to several thousand penguins. A group of penguins is also called a tuxedo.

Penguins are found in the southern hemisphere, from the icy waters around Antarctica to the warmer coasts of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Let’s learn more about these creatures in this article.

What Is a Group of Penguins Called on Land and Water?


A group of penguins is called a “waddle” on land and a “raft” on water. ~ City of Albuquerque

Penguins are social birds that spend most of their lives at sea and only come ashore to breed and molt.

Penguins huddle together in large numbers when they are on land to stay warm, conserve energy, and protect themselves from the harsh Antarctic winds.

A waddle of penguins can range from a few dozen to several thousand individuals, depending on the species and the location.

In water, penguins form rafts to protect themselves from predators and conserve energy while they swim.

A raft is a group of penguins that swim together on the water’s surface, with their flippers and feet tucked in to reduce drag and increase buoyancy.

Why is a Group of Penguins Called a Rookery?

A group of penguins on land is called a “rookery.” It is where the penguins breed, nest, and rear their young ones.

A rookery is busy, with hundreds or even thousands of penguins huddling together in one location. They use their beaks to build nests out of rocks and pebbles, which are then used to incubate their eggs.

In addition to breeding, the rookery is also where the penguins molt or shed their old feathers and grow new ones.

A study conducted on an Adelie penguin rookery showed that the total number of adults molting in the rookery was nearly 500, which was one-fifth of the estimated total breeding population of 2,700. ~ Penny, 1967

During this time, the penguins cannot swim or hunt for food, so they stay on land and rely on their fat reserves until their new feathers grow in.

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An example of a penguin rookery is the Taylor Rookery, a group of emperor penguins located 90km to the west of the Mawson Station in Australia. There are approximately 3000 breeding pairs found in this area.

What Is a Group of Galapagos Penguins Called?


A group of Galapagos penguins, which are a species of penguins found only on the Galapagos Islands, is called a “colony, rookery, huddle or waddle” on land and “Raft” in sea.

These penguins are the only species of penguins found north of the equator. They have adapted to the warmer temperatures of the Galapagos Islands by evolving thinner feathers and a smaller body size than their Antarctic cousins.

The Galapagos penguins are considered an endangered species, with only around 2,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

They are known for their social behavior and strong family bonds. They form monogamous pairs and take turns incubating their eggs and feeding their chicks.

They also gather in large groups on rocky cliffs and lava flows, where they huddle together to conserve heat and protect themselves from the strong equatorial sun.

What Is a Group of Gentoo Penguins Called?


A group of Gentoo penguins is called a “colony” or a “huddle.” ~ National Geographic

Gentoo penguins are a species of penguins found in the southern hemisphere, primarily on the Antarctic Peninsula and the sub-Antarctic islands.

This specie of penguins are highly social bird and are known for its loud, trumpeting calls.

They form large colonies during the breeding season, with hundreds or even thousands of individuals huddling together on rocky cliffs or sandy beaches.

What Is a Group of Emperor Penguins Called?


A group of emperor penguins is called a “huddle” or a “waddle.”

Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguin and are found exclusively in Antarctica.

They are known for their iconic black and white plumage, as well as their incredible adaptations to life in one of the harshest environments on Earth.

Emperor penguins are known for their “huddling” behavior, an adaptation that allows them to survive the cold temperatures of the Arctic that can fall below -30C.

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Fun Fact: During different breeding stages, the size of this “huddle” varies. The largest group is formed during the incubation period. ~ Asknature.org

The outer members of the huddle rotate to the inside to share warmth every 30 to 60 seconds, while the inner members move to the outside to cool off.

Because of this large-scale movement, the size of the huddle may increase since smaller huddles eventually join together. However, this can make penguins too hot causing some of them to break away from the huddle, reducing the size of the group.

What Is a Group of Baby Penguins Called?

Baby penguins

A group of baby penguins is called a “creche”.

In emperor penguin colonies, the baby penguins form large creches while their parents go off to hunt for food.

The creches can contain hundreds of chicks and are often supervised by a few adult penguins, known as creche leaders, who help keep the chicks warm and protected from predators.

Forming a creche helps chicks with thermoregulation and protects them from aggression and predation because the chicks in a creche are reared by a large number of adult penguins.

Penguin chicks often form creches while adult penguins are at sea hunting for food for their young. Other adults who are part of the creche protect the chicks from predator attacks.

Did you know? Little Blue penguins stay in their sheltered nest, waiting for their parents to return from the sea. ~ Penguins International Organization

Is A Group of Penguins Called a Flock?


While the term “flock” is often used to describe a group of birds, including penguins, it is not the correct term for a group of penguins specifically. Instead, the correct term depends on the species of penguin.

For example, a group of emperor penguins is called a “huddle” or a “waddle,” while a group of Adelie penguins is called a “rookery.

Other species of penguins, such as chinstrap penguins and gentoo penguins, are typically referred to as “colonies.”

Although the specific terms may vary depending on the species, all penguins form tight-knit groups for breeding, hunting, and protection from the harsh Antarctic environment.

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Is A Group of Penguins Called a Tuxedo?

Yes, penguin groups are sometimes called “tuxedos.” The name of the group of penguins differs based on the species of penguin and what they are doing at the time.

Penguins are often associated with a tuxedo, a type of formal attire for men due to their distinctive black and white plumage.

Tuxedos help provide camouflage to penguins, preventing them from attracting the attention of predators.

Why Is a Group of Penguins Called a Waddle?

A group of penguins is sometimes referred to as a “waddle” due to the distinctive way they walk on land.

Penguins are adapted for swimming, with streamlined bodies, webbed feet, and waterproof feathers. However, on land, their upright posture and short, stumpy legs make walking a bit of a challenge.

When penguins walk on land, they tend to waddle from side to side, rocking their bodies back and forth with each step. This distinctive gait has been likened to a “waddle,” which is where the term comes from.


What are penguin couples called?

Penguin couples are typically referred to as “mates.” Once they find a mate, penguins typically remain monogamous for the duration of the breeding season,

What are girl penguins called?

In some cases, penguin females may be referred to as “hens” while the males are called “cocks” based on their sex, particularly in older scientific literature.

What is a group of penguins called in the UK?

In the UK, a group of penguins is typically called a “colony.” This term is commonly used to describe a group of penguins, whether they are living in the wild in a zoo or aquarium.

What is a male penguin called?

A male penguin is typically called a “cock.”


From the various questions asked about penguins and their grouping names, it can be concluded that different species of penguins have different group names.

While some are called colonies, others are called huddles or rookeries.

The grouping name of penguins often depends on their behavior, habitat, and location. Penguins are social birds and form strong bonds with their mates.  

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