10 Birds That Look Like Penguins – Birds Stories

Penguins, known for their iconic black-and-white plumage and charming walk, are among the most adorable and easily identified birds worldwide. Yet, these aren’t the only avian species with distinctive characteristics. In this piece, we try to discover new information about birds that look like penguins, shedding light on various species that bear a resemblance in either looks or habits. These birds, though diverse in numerous aspects, provide an intriguing peek into the avian kingdom’s rich variety.

Puffins (Fratercula)

Known for their vibrant beaks, particularly during breeding season, puffins are small seabirds in the North Atlantic. They are skilled swimmers, using wing-propelled diving to catch fish. Unlike penguins, puffins are excellent fliers, covering long distances.

Birds that look like penguins

Guillemots (Uria)

These birds share the black-and-white colouring of many penguin species. Guillemots are found along the rocky cliffs of northern coasts, nesting in large colonies. They dive deep into the ocean to feed, using their wings much like penguins do underwater.

Birds that look like penguins

Razorbill (Alca torda)

Razorbills are a sight with their striking black-and-white plumage and thick beaks. They prefer colder northern waters and are known for forming monogamous pairs, much like many penguin species.

Birds that look like penguins

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

Residing along the Pacific coast of South America, these terms are recognized by their unique grey plumage and elongated, white moustache feathers. They are agile fliers and nest in rocky cliffs or guano deposits.

Birds that look like penguins

Common Murre (Uria aalge)

This species stands upright like penguins and has similar coloring. Common Murres are phenomenal divers, reaching depths of over 180 meters. They feed primarily on fish and can be found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific.

Birds that look like penguins


The booby, a member of the Sulidae family, this designation is attributed to their tendency to land on ships, where they often become easy prey for the crew. These seabirds are indigenous to the South Atlantic and Pacific waters. Similar to other seabirds, boobies search for food by diving into the ocean, primarily consuming fish and occasionally squid.

Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus):

Predominantly oceanic birds, Manx Shearwaters only venture to land for breeding purposes. Their striking black and white feathers evoke images of penguins, and they are celebrated for their impressive long-range migratory journeys.

Birds That Look Like Penguins

Little Auk (Alle alle)

Among the tinier relatives in the auk family, Little Auks display a penguin-esque look with their robust frame and distinctively patterned feathers. Inhabiting Arctic regions, these birds flourish in chilly aquatic environments, subsisting on a diet of plankton and diminutive fish.

Birds that look like penguins

Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides)

These small seabirds inhabit the Southern Ocean and are adapted for life at sea. They use their wings to ‘fly’ underwater, reminiscent of penguin swimming techniques. Diving Petrels are capable of diving several meters to catch their prey.

Birds that look like penguins

Magellanic Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides magellani)

Often confused with penguins due to their size and colouration, these birds are native to the Southern Hemisphere. They are excellent divers, plunging into the ocean to catch small fish and squid.

10 Birds that look like penguins

Conclusion of Birds That Look Like Penguins

Each of these birds that look like penguins showcases the incredible variety in the avian world. They remind us that nature often repeats successful designs in surprisingly diverse ways.

FAQs about Birds That Look Like Penguins

Q: Do any of these birds live in the same habitats as penguins?
A: Yes, some, like the Magellanic Diving-Petrel, share habitats with penguins in the Southern Hemisphere.

Q: Can these birds swim like penguins?
A: Many, especially the auk family members, are excellent swimmers and use their wings to move underwater, much like penguins.

Q: Are these birds as adept on land as penguins?
A: Most birds are more comfortable in the water or air. On land, their movement can be awkward, similar to penguins.

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