Penguins mate differently depending on the breed, but all penguins mate by following courtship rituals that use their senses of sight and sound as well as a nest site made by the male to attract a partner. Penguins become sexually mature between the ages of 3 and 8 years.
There are three types of common penguin courtship displays. Some breeds use all three, while others use one or two. They are ecstatic, mutual ecstatic and bowing.
The first occurs when a male penguin swings its head from side to side to show females that he has a nest site ready. It also warns other male penguins to stay away. The ecstatic display can happen while the penguin is standing or sitting in the nest. The chinstrap and crested species of penguins also use their flippers.
The mutual ecstatic display occurs when both the female and male penguins start to perform the ecstatic behavior together while adding a vocal bray. It helps to signal to other mates that they are together and that their nest area should not be disturbed. It also builds the bond between the two penguins.
The bowing display occurs when both penguins bow their heads towards one another or towards their nest. They may also create a vibrating sound in their bills during the display.