Five baby penguins just enrolled in 'Fish School' at the San Francisco Zoo, where they’re learning to eat on their own and going through the awkward transition of trading newborn downy fluff for grown-up feathers.
Story continues after photo.
A lot like boarding school, Fish School keeps the little ones separated from the rest of the colony, but at the end of the month they’ll rejoin their families as adolescents in the Zoo’s annual 'March of the Penguins.' A graduation ceremony of sorts, the young birds will waddle across the lawn and into their new home on Penguin Island.
But right now they’re only 5-7 weeks old and still need to learn how to eat without someone else regurgitating into their mouths.
Fish School is a part of the San Francisco Zoo’s largest, most successful breeding colony of Magellanic penguins in the world, nurturing more than 205 chicks since 1985.
"Our five new Magellanic penguin chicks are getting bigger and stronger every day, thanks to a diet of delicious herring," the San Francisco Zoo said. "They’re also becoming more sleek, since they lose their fuzzy down to become waterproof at this age."
And on an adorable side note, the zoo’s chief penguin-keeper Anthony Brown told SFist that if you scratch a penguin behind the ear, they will endearingly try to scratch behind yours.
For more baby penguin photos, check out SFist's slideshow.