// Honk // Gak // Gaw // What type of sound does a Penguin make? Find out at Penguin Rocks!

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Field Recording, Scotland, Sound, Wildlife Recording
Penguins Rock!!!

Edinburgh Zoo is famous for housing penguins in Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool, Penguins Rock!

Edinburgh Zoo, formerly known as the Scottish National Zoological Park, is an 82 acre Zoological park located in EdinburghScotland. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) was founded a registered charity in 1909 by Edinburgh lawyer Thomas Gillespie. In just four years the visionary and nature enthusiast Gillespie gained support and funding from the local council to enable RZSS to buy the 85 acre land situated in south east of Corstorphine. Edinburgh Zoo opened its doors to the public on July 1913.

Edinburgh Zoo has an International reputation for excellence in the field of Education. It is one of Europe’s leading centres for conservation, education and research. The Zoo also works with many other centres all over the world to help ensure the survival of many threatened animal species.  The Zoo aims to raise awareness and understanding of the fragilty of life on this planet and our responsibility to help care for it.

The RSZZ original principle objective, Read below:

"To promote, facilitate and encourage the study of zoology and 
kindred subjects and to foster and develop amongst the people 
an interest in and knowledge of animal life"

Penguins Rock Sign (B&W)

Penguins Rock is Europe’s largest outdoor Penguin pool at 65 metres long and 3.5 metres deep (deepest level) containing 1.2 million litres of water and houses colonies of Gentoo, King and Rockhopper Penguins.

King Penguin
King Penguin.

King Penguin.

King Penguins were one of the first species to be kept at Edinburgh Zoo. They were first bred at the Zoo with a successful hatching of a King Penguin chick in 1919, which was the first captive breeding of this species anywhere in the world. Since then Edinburgh Zoo has pioneered in the care and science of Penguins. Edinburgh Zoo is currently home to a bachelor of King Penguins. The King Penguin even appears on the Zoos logo.

King Penguins And Emperor Penguin.

King Penguins.

  • Scientific Name: Aptenodytes patagonicus.
  • Feature: Distinctive bright orange ear patches and orange upper throat.
  • Height: 90cm.
  • Weight: 10 – 15 Kilograms.
  • Activity: Active during the day.
  • Life Span: 15 – 20 Years.
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Conservation Status Symbols

 Gentoo Penguin
Gentoo Penguins.

Gentoo Penguins.

Penguins Rock have the largest Gentoo population in Europe and the most successful with 170 adults, and 45 successful hatchings in 2009. Gentoo penguins enjoy chasing snowflakes in the winter and leaves in autumn. At one stage Edinburgh Zoo installed a bubble machine into the enclosure so the Gentoo penguins could be showered with many bubbles to chase. Gentoos can be found in the Falklands, South Georgia, Kerguelen, Marion, Macquarie and other remote islands and the Antarctic peninsula.

A Gentoo looks on...

A Gentoo perched on a rock…

  • Scientific Name: Pygoscelis papua.
  • Feature: White stripe extending like a ‘bonnet’ across the top of its head.
  • Height: 75cm.
  • Weight: 4.5 – 8 Kilograms.
  • Activity: Active during the day.
  • Life Span: 12 – 14 Years.
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened.

Conservation Status Symbols

Northern Rockhopper
Northern Rockhopper Penguin.

Northern Rockhopper Penguin.

Edinburgh Zoo are home to a small colony of Northern Rockhopper penguins. Although small in numbers they are large in temperament as they are very noisy and like to be heard. Northern Rockhoppers breed on the Islands of the Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic and the Southern Indian Ocean islands of Amsterdam and St Paul.  A study in 2009 showed that the population of the Northern Rockhopper has declined by 90% since the 1950s. 

  • Scientific Name: Eudyptes moseleyi.
  • Feature: Adults have red eyes and yellow ‘eyebrows’ ending in long yellow strides.
  • Height: 55cm.
  • Weight: 2.5 – 5 Kilograms.
  • Activity: Active during the day.
  • Life Span: 10 Years.
  • Conservation Status: Endangered.

Conservation Status Symbols


To listen to a short Field Recording of the ‘Penguins Rock’ enclosure in Edinburgh Zoo please click on the play button below:
Five Facts you may not have known about Penguins!


  • Penguins are flightless birds, they use their flippers to help them swim in water.
  • There are 17 Species on Penguins on the planet.
  • Penguins sleep standing up, lying down or floating in the sea.
  • Penguins don’t have any teeth.
  • Penguins can swim close to 15mph which is faster than Gold Medalist Michael Phelps.
  • Emperor Penguins are the tallest of Penguins at a height of 120cm.

Edinburgh Zoo Magnet

King Penguin on the Edinburgh Zoo Emblem.

Click here to Visit the Edinburgh Zoo Website.

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