Breakfast With the Penguins 2007

This lucky bird at Breakfast with the Penguins had caught a fish which I photographed in its mouth.

Other penguins waited for more fish. It was 94 degrees, so many of the penguins spent a lot of time in the water.

A crowd of adolescent penguins on the wall watched a crowd of adult penguins swimming in the enclosure. The self-chosen segregation amused us.

Here are the people eating breakfast before the birds got theirs -- eggs, pancakes, croissants, fruit, hash browns, bacon and sausage. The tables were set up in a shady area behind sunny Rock Island. Staff members came around with displays showing penguin eggs and bones, plus photos of the nest boxes (there are several breeding pairs at this zoo with new babies every year).

Ascot, the penguin we met as a baby at the breakfast last year, is now an adult and still a "penguin ambassador" for the Maryland Zoo, so he was waddling around on the grass with a keeper.

The zoo had an auction of art created by the penguins (at gala nights these go upwards of $100).

We won this painting, made by a bird named Honkers whom we were told prefers knocking paint cans over to walking around in paint. The money raised by the auction goes to a penguin rescue organization.

We think the penguin with her back to the camera is Honkers, the artist, since she has a brown wing band, but she was not in the mood for meeting her public!

A relieved penguin stands in the air conditioning out of the heat.

Penguins are a big deal at this zoo. Even the carousel has one!